In the professional realm, the term ‘networking’ often conjures up images of industry events, B2B groups, or coffee meetings with potential clients or contacts outside one’s organisation.
However, a frequently overlooked, yet invaluable, networking terrain exists right under our noses: our very own workplace. For those in accountancy practices and insolvency specialists, internal networking is particularly crucial. Why? Let’s delve into the importance and benefits of connecting within the firm.
Why Internal Networking?
- A rounded understanding of the Firm: Interacting with colleagues from different teams or departments provides a comprehensive view of the organisation’s operations. This perspective helps professionals better understand their role within the larger context and equips them to offer more integrated solutions to clients.
- Mentorship Opportunities: Establishing relationships with seasoned professionals or higher-ups can provide mentorship opportunities, guiding younger professionals through the complexities of the industry.
- Boosting Team Synergy: When you know your colleagues beyond their job titles, collaboration becomes smoother. It’s easier to approach someone you’ve had a conversation with for insights or assistance.
- Unlocking Hidden Opportunities: Many opportunities or projects within firms aren’t advertised on official channels. They’re often filled through word of mouth. Networking internally can ensure you’re in the loop for these chances.
- Personal Development: Engaging with a diverse group of professionals within the firm can expose you to different working styles, strategies, and perspectives. This variety is a rich resource for personal growth and skill enhancement.
- Job Security and Progression: Building robust internal relationships can be a safeguard during tough times. When you’re known (and valued) by many, it’s less likely you’ll be the first on the chopping block. Moreover, if there are openings in senior roles or different departments, your internal connections can be your advocates.
Benefits of Networking Across Hierarchies
- Peers: Networking with contemporaries offers peer support. They understand your challenges best, can provide real-time advice, and together, you can brainstorm innovative solutions.
- Higher-ups: Forming relationships with senior professionals and decision-makers can be particularly beneficial. They can provide insights into the industry’s future trajectory, offer guidance based on their experiences, and may even consider you for high-profile projects or teams they’re leading.
Tips for Effective Internal Networking
- Attend Company Events: Whether it’s a training session, team-building activity, or an informal get-together, ensure you’re present. These are excellent opportunities to interact and connect.
- Volunteer for Cross-functional Teams: If there’s a cross-departmental project or committee, volunteer. It’s an excellent way to meet professionals from other areas of the firm.
- Lunch and Coffee Breaks: Instead of heading out alone or always sitting with the same group, invite a colleague from another department or a senior you respect.
- Be Genuine: Internal networking shouldn’t be approached with a transactional mindset. Seek genuine connections, be curious, and aim to learn.
- Stay Updated: Keep yourself informed about the firm’s developments, industry news, and any training or courses that might benefit your role. Being knowledgeable makes you a valuable conversationalist.
Internal networking is a goldmine of opportunities, especially within accountancy practices and insolvency firms. It not only facilitates better working relationships and team dynamics but also paves the way for professional growth and advancement. As you navigate your career in this specialized industry, remember: sometimes, the most influential connections are just a desk or a floor away. Don’t miss out on them.
My views are based on my 15 years+ of recruiting for Accountancy Practice and Insolvency professionals.
For advice about your career options, speak to Scott Lowes at Levitate Recruitment, specialists in placing practice-trained accountants and insolvency professionals across the UK, and find the right role to suit your ambitions.