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networking in a new job - how much, how high and how soon?

I had a look through PU and a quick read of Never Eat Alone and searched the forum.  Couldn't find anything specifically on these questions.

As per this post  I'm looking at how I can increase career success as a contractor.  Starting a six month contract tomorrow, although my friend who has contacts in there says its a short term piece of work so it could be less - i.e. less chance for my work to speak for itself.  It's at a bank so potentially other opportunities there if I can get known.   The challenge is how to get known without angering my boss.

I'm thinking in the first month 2 pronged approach

  1. Head down, bum up, learning the new work and team and trying for find an early win for the boss and an early win for the team.
  2. Come in early and say a quick hi to other early people on my floor  (might have to change this to late depending on bosses hours - aka mirror your boss)

What I'm unsure about is approaching other managers especially my managers boss.  In one gig I had a fortnightly catch-up with my 2 up boss and it worked well but of course potientially sensitive with my boss.  Anybody got any subtle delicate ways they've asked this one of their boss?  The alternative is if they're close by (i.e. not in another building) find out if the 2 up boss works early or late and treat them as human - just drop by and say hi

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Lucio Buffalmanoselffriend

Hi Transitioned. Congrats again for your new job and best luck!

I definitely agree with the "never eat alone", and from my personal experience, having food with colleagues almost never anger your boss. You are just having food together, not scheming against the boss, so there is no reason that your boss will be angered.

I think, besides having food with colleagues, you could have more food together with your direct supervisor. If you want to stay in this (narrowly defined) industry, only people with the rank higher than you can help you materially. Other bosses don't have the responsibility to make a connection with you; however, your current boss is somewhat obliged to connect with you, deeply if you wish, and then provide a reference for you later.

although my friend who has contacts in there says its a short term piece of work so it could be less - i.e. less chance for my work to speak for itself.

I think your friend is kind of pessimistic. Six months of work is definitely enough for your boss to know your ability and then either promote you or refer you to a similar position.

What I'm unsure about is approaching other managers especially my managers boss.

I guess that your "manager's boss" is the female 2-up boss you mentioned before? Could you please clarify the duties of your direct manager and that 2-up boss and also any other bosses you might encounter, if you feel comfortable?

 

Thanks @selffriend. Details:

Colleagues definitely lunch together and a few have been quite welcoming so I LL keep that going.

Friend meant the contract might not go the full 6 months.

We have 2 mandatory days a week at office.  I ve been going in every day to meet team mates and other teams in same program.  As per Lucio's review of the Like Switch frequent proximity and being nice and interested in others should be enough to start.

The whether and when to network with 2 up boss is a more generic question that's going to come up in every new job?

 

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selffriend
Quote from Transitioned on April 11, 2021, 3:45 am

Thanks @selffriend. Details:

Colleagues definitely lunch together and a few have been quite welcoming so I LL keep that going.

Friend meant the contract might not go the full 6 months.

We have 2 mandatory days a week at office.  I ve been going in every day to meet team mates and other teams in same program.  As per Lucio's review of the Like Switch frequent proximity and being nice and interested in others should be enough to start.

The whether and when to network with 2 up boss is a more generic question that's going to come up in every new job?

 

I don't really have a lot of experience successfully networking with the 2-up boss. So I will have little to say here.

How is your relation with your supervisor right now?

By the way, saying hi to everyone will be very helpful, and so does mirror your boss. I frequently ask my boss what time he will be here next morning, and then come earlier than him and leave two minutes later than him.

Hello Transitioned,

Yes, it's a bit of a balancing act where you on the "aggressive" side you don't want to:

  1. Annoy your direct boss
  2. Don't look like a social climber to whoever you're approaching for networking
  3. Bother and/or come across as a time-taker to whoever you're approaching for networking

And on the overly cautious side you don't want to:

  1. Remain anonymous outside the team
  2. Miss out on opportunities

That being said, in my experience and opinion, most people err too much on the cautious and/or inactive side.

GO INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO SAY "HI, HERE I AM, IF YOU NEED ANYTHING... "

And also: when you're new is often the best moment to go for it.
You have the most natural opportunity of knocking at someone's door and say "hey, I just got here, and wanted to introduce myself", which seems a natural, social, and proactive thing to do.

To make it even more natural with the higher-ups, you can make it even more about work, for example saying something like "if there is anything you need, or any feedback on the work, I am always available".

Then you might:

  1. See how the conversation goes, and if it goes well, say "maybe we can grab a lunch one of these days"
  2. Say "maybe we can grab lunch one of these days" in any case, and see if they bite. If they don't seem enthusiastic, you didn't push it, and simply drop it

GO THROUGH YOUR BOSS

This is the politically careful way: ask your boss to make an intro to the various stakeholders.

You can get there "organically" by:

  1. Ask the team structure
  2. Ask if he can introduce you to the team members / lateral colleagues
  3. When he does, tell the team members you should get lunch together

And then:

  1. When he mentions the higher-ups, ask if he can introduce you
  2. Ask to the higher-ups for lunch, exactly like you did with the colleagues

If you ask him for the introduction, he will feel like he's in control and you're not overstepping his authority.
And if you ask the higher-ups for lunch in front of him exactly as you've done with your colleagues, it just feels like you're social and proactive about getting to know your environment, and not like you're targeting the ones in power only.

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Transitionedselffriend
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thanks Lucio that's gold

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Lucio Buffalmano