It’s no secret that building a strong internal network can help your career thrive. We speak to Lucy Chamberlain, founder and CEO of C&C Search, about how finding your tribe can boost your career.
A supportive, thriving network within your workplace can be transformative to your career. Intentionally nurturing the right relationships, and building your tribe, is about matching your ethos, values and skills with your people, to take charge of your career.
What does “tribe” mean to you?
“Tribe” has become somewhat of a buzzword, but from a career perspective, it’s so much more than an Instagram mantra. It’s a powerful concept of where you belong – your like-minded community. People like you, who you connect with, who encourage you to show up as your best self, and who support your growth. That you do the same for.
As a PA, this certainly doesn’t limit you to your peers. In fact, I’d encourage you to build a tribe at all levels of your organisation. You’ll probably gravitate towards more senior people in your business that share the things you care about and are interested in. It’s just as vital to nurture those relationships.
Cultivating a tribe requires intentionality. When you’re inspired by your people – particularly those further ahead of you career-wise – share this with them. Tell them how a lunchtime talk they delivered encourage you to take action and what the outcome was. This is closing the mentoring loop and is an organic way to connect with mentors who’ll take an active interest in sponsoring your success.
Keep your friends close?
Your career isn’t a popularity contest. “You are the average of your friends” is something I’ve found to ring true throughout a 20-year career in this industry. Have the self-respect to be more selective about who you allow to influence you – particularly in the workplace. In other words, be more selective about our friends.
Think about the kind of value they add – do they leave you energised or drained? It isn’t about being ruthless. It’s about making more space for people who light you up.
Become a magnet
Building a tribe isn’t about hierarchy; it’s about mindset, identity and kinship. Cultivate a network that shares ideas and fosters collaborative support.
Cultivate a broad network to exchange ideas and rally collaborative support. Where possible, remove obstacles to teamwork within your business. Be respectful and openly credit people in your team. Ultimately people want to be heard and recognised. By saying something’s helpful or makes a difference to your day, you’ll encourage them to keep doing it. Be prepared to challenge too – this brings out the best in your tribe.
Become a super-connector. Always think about who you know who can help your network. Have the confidence to make connections, where both parties can benefit. The association will reflect back to you so be mindful and don’t connect for the sake of it.
Remember not to expect anything in return; it’s about spreading goodwill within your tribe.
Be patient. Building lasting, worthwhile relationships takes time. By paying attention to the people you’re attracted to, who share your interests, desires, talents, you’ll build a strong core of support and inspiration. And it’s this platform that will help take your career to the next level.