When You Network, Don’t Always Look Up

Matt| September 16, 2015| News

Sidney Weinberg, head of Goldman Sachs from the 1930s to 1960s, had a huge impact on the firm’s growth into an international giant. However, he didn’t always enjoy a view from the top. In fact, Mr. Weinberg started out at the very bottom – as a janitor’s assistant. He began his tenure at Goldman Sachs wiping the boots of the very men he would eventually become.

The moral of the story is this – when it comes to who you know, it isn’t always the ones at the top who count. We all know networking is one of the best ways to advance your career, however often job seekers fixate on looking as far up the chain of command as possible. Sometimes, the best influencers are at your own level, or even lower.

Sometimes they might even be a janitor’s assistant.

Networking with employees at your level or lower will:

  • Provide access to critical information. Administrative assistants are gatekeepers. If you’re trying to make an impression on a high-powered executive, then building a relationship with their admin professional is a great place to start. You can learn about opportunities that you may have heard about when you network with an administrative assistant.
  • Give you an understanding of protocol. Office workers in finance and accounting can provide you with the best avenues for introducing yourself to decision makers. Support staff in a law firm can relay any special etiquette and protocol that could help boost your chances of impressing the hiring manager during an interview.

Networking with your professional peers is beneficial because:

  • They understand where you’re coming from. If you’re unhappy with your current employment, consider networking with your peers at a variety of firms. Even though the move may be lateral, an enhanced workplace culture could be just the change you need to improve job satisfaction.
  • They are future leaders. When you network with professionals at your own level, you’re really networking with future managers, supervisors and executives. They’re on the same path as you and have similar hopes. If you network with them now, they can be your allies later on down the road.
  • They can inspire new ideas. If you don’t have anyone to really discuss ideas with, a network of professional peers can provide feedback that helps improve the quality of your work. Gaining new insights on your same level can show you different ways to problem solve.

Remember that networking is a professional relationship, not a personal one. Even though friendships may emerge, it’s better to keep it professional, especially with subordinates. Everything you do and say reflects your reputation, so be sure to always keep it professional and positive.

Still trying to land the job of your dreams? Contact one of our experienced recruiters. The Long Island Temps team can connect you with some of the best employers in Long Island for temporary assignments or direct hire opportunities as well as guide you in selecting professional networks that can boost your career. Contact us today!