Whether you work for a large corporation or a small business, you probably feel at least a little intimidated by your company’s executive team. After all, they not only call the shots, but they essentially hold your job security and the future of your career in their hands.
As daunted as you may feel at the prospect of networking with your organization’s higher-ups, getting to know them could be one of the best things you do for your career.
“It is quite worthwhile to get to know senior leaders [at your company],” says John Millikin, clinical professor of management at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business and former vice president of human resources at Motorola. “From the leader’s standpoint, by getting to know you as more than a name on a roster, he or she can have a face and personality in mind when making decisions that might affect you and your job. You, conversely, begin to have a clearer understanding of who this leader is and how she or he thinks. This can be very helpful in better aligning your actions with the goals of the firm. The leader may also gain from a connection with you, because he or she is getting an unfiltered view from the ‘floor,’ which can be very helpful.”
So how do you form relationships with the upper management at your company? Consider the do’s and don’ts of networking up.