City : Career Climbing Pastures : Working with Others
Wherever you work, if you are hoping to improve your position or your job, you will have to build relationships with the people around you and make the most of those relationships.
Find A Mentor
Having a strong relationship with someone higher up in the company can really open doors for you. It also means that you potentially have someone on your side who can promote you around the whole business. At the very least, it can be invaluable to have someone who has been through it all before, who can give you advice and guidance on what you need to do to succeed (and what you need to avoid doing!) You can ask formally for someone to mentor you (which will include structured meetings and tasks) or just have an informal arrangement.
Get a Buddy
While a mentor will probably be someone much higher up in the company, a buddy is likely to be someone who is nearer your age or level in the company. Having the support of another person around your level can make you are more aware of what’s going on, and provide a shoulder to lean on when you need it.
Asking For Help
Remember, don’t be afraid of asking for help if you really don’t understand something- just make sure that you ask at the right time. Your manager should be happy to explain anything to you, but don’t ask while they are in the middle of a hugely important project and short for time; remember that they have their own projects and deadlines. It’s usually OK to do something wrong as long as you let colleagues know what has happened as soon as you can – and that you learn from your mistakes.
Use The Experts
If you’re in a company that has a number of different departments then make sure that you use the experts when you need to. If you are working on a project that has elements of marketing then by all means ask someone in the marketing department for advice. Don’t try and get them to do your job for you, but they will probably be more than happy to go over anything you don’t understand.
Dealing with Difficult People
When you are at work chances are that you are going to have to deal with people you find difficult, either as a co-worker, a boss or as a customer or client. The key in these situations is to remember to remain professional - almost every issue in terms of dealing with difficult people in the workplace can be dealt with without confrontation.
Customers / Clients
There will always be awkward customers or clients, no matter how good your customer service. Arguing or becoming defensive is never helpful – try to keep calm and remain professional. Just think how you would like to be treated if you were the customer in that situation. If you think there might be a personality clash do you have a colleague who can step in for you?
Managing Your Boss
If you feel you are being treated unfairly by your boss - they won’t help your career progression or tend to pick on you or overwork you - tackle the situation rationally. Don’t take it personally, confront the situation and ask to sit down with your manager to discuss things. They might be genuinely surprised at how you are feeling. If this route doesn’t help then talk to your HR department (if there is one) or whoever is above your manager in the company.
Don’t get drawn into an argument or a dispute. If one of your co-workers is being negative about their work, the company or is attacking another member of staff, try and distance yourself from those discussions. Office politics can be a minefield and a serious waste of energy and time. Whenever you can, rise above it. However if you feel you are being bullied make sure your manager or HR team know about it.