We all know the saying – “it’s not what you know. It’s who you know ” — right? Well, we think it is who you know AND what you know that matters. Both are important but the who is often overlooked and at times needed the most.
Relationships are a big factor in the working world that many take for granted. Often times we hear about the sacrifices women make for their careers. We do not often hear about the isolation that comes with it. Being career driven can be very lonely and cutthroat. We believe that career-driven women can reach their goals faster by maintaining healthy work relationships than those that choose to take the solitude road.
Start building relationships now with the people you work with and they will pay off, both personally and professionally.
Here are 5 relationships that every career woman must have to get the most out of her career.
1 | The Mentor.
Having a mentor is a tremendous advantage in the workplace. This is someone who has been in your shoes, knows the ropes and is willing to coach you. A mentor can coach you through the trying times and help you to be the best at your job.
They can also help identify growth opportunities and guide you through them.
2 | The Mentee.
On the contrary, you be the role model or the mentor and take someone under your wing. Even if you do not feel ready, know that you have plenty to offer. In fact, you actually already have a mentee whether you know it or not. Someone is already looking up to you, taking note of the decisions you make and the way you conduct yourself.
3 | Peer Group.
Establish a group of people at work that you respect and admire. Use them as a backboard to bounce ideas off of. Use them as a social outlet during your lunch break. They could turn into friends you see outside of work, or not. Either way, these relationships can be very fulfilling. They may even feel like a family; hence the phrase work family.
4 | Work Best Friend.
Your work BFF is someone who you have clicked with and talk to everyday. You share an office space and might even have lunch together. They always have your back. Some people refer to them affectionately as a work wife or work husband.
5 | Your Assistant.
It is important to have respect for the people that work for you or hold positions below you. They are most likely the people who are looking up to you and will eventually be the people taking over for you in the career ladder. You were once in those positions yourself. Remember how you were treated and adjust accordingly.
Seniority does not mean that you have the right to mistreat the people below you. In fact, you have all the more experience and responsibility to mentor those lower in the ranks. It benefits you as a leader by teaching someone else. You gain patience and communication skills. Not to mention the organization benefits too.
When you better your work relationships, you better the work culture and ultimately the organization’s reputation and productivity. A team that works well together, performs well together which benefits the organization.
It is essential to build these types of relationships at work for your own benefit too. Your day-to-day workload is much more meaningful and enjoyable when you know and respect the people you work around. Once you begin to know each other, you begin to trust each other and both your personal and professional relationships are enhanced.
It’s easy to be so career-oriented that you develop tunnel vision and do not pay attention to the people around you. Do not be so self-focused that you miss these vital benefits. You can continue to be career driven but make sure you are taking a little bit of time to build relationships with those that work with you. It does not take a lot to build them, either. Small gestures like saying “hello” as you pass by in the hallway, or wishing someone a good weekend.
Take it one step further and ask them how their weekend went — if they did everything they were planning on doing. Be genuinely interested in their answer. By fostering these relationships, you gain contacts and you never know when you need someone.
Ladies, this is SO important for us. Especially in positions of authority, men run the roost and women unfortunately have the reputation of being catty, stepping on each other to get to the top. At Mercury Clothiers, we believe in community over competition. Break the stereotype and stand with your fellow woman, not on her.
Nurture the relationships you have with your co-workers and reap the benefits. It is a lot less lonely and you will gain some contacts that you may need to reach out to in the future. The importance of building strong relationships in your career is great for everyone. Men have been doing this for quite some time — gentlemen’s clubs, golf excursions, business meetings — they bond and maintain relationships to better their careers. Why aren’t women doing the same?
Here at Mercury Clothiers, we are focused on women helping women and believe that you should be able to celebrate your femininity in whatever forum. We empower women to reach their full potential as powerful leaders and organizers. You should never feel that you are being held back in your career due to your gender, and although the corporate ladder is tough to climb, do not become jaded and turn your back on others. You never know when you need someone to vouch for you now or in the future.
For more advice on career, life and fashion for the professional woman, follow us on Instagram @mercury_clothiers and like us on Facebook. Also, sign up for our mailing list and stay tuned for the launch of our vintage-inspired clothing line.