Dream jobs have people who are stakeholders: people who have a vested interest in your work, but are not your customer. Because they are not your customer, your manager, or your coworker, stakeholders tend to be ignored.
That can be a killer when starting out in your new dream job. Here’s why.
The reason stakeholders are stakeholders is because your work indirectly impacts them in their work. Since they are impacted by your work but also work with your customer, stakeholders are in a unique position to help you understand what you need to do to best serve your customer through your work.
You wouldn’t normally choose to have a manager that wasn’t right for you. But you can get a poor manager as the result of a corporate reorganization and there you go. All of a sudden, the management changes and the changes for you are not good. Having managers running around spouting off about the poor work of someone on their team (like you, poor work or not) is bad. Really bad.
Stakeholders, though, can shut this kind of trash talk down. They can defend your work in management meetings and can offer the view of the customer. Consequently, it is vital to enlist the support of stakeholders early in taking on the new position.
An important aspect of managing your career is building out your business network. This helps you help others in their business needs, but also gives you an important window into other opportunities. Starting out at a new company means your business network there consists of your manager and coworkers. That limits you to your immediate group and you completely miss anything going on outside of your immediate group.
Stakeholders can help get you out of this minimal business network so that you can expand your reach inside the company. In larger companies, this reach is important as it gives you the ability to consider positions in the company as they come up with stakeholder support.
When starting your dream job, there is so much focus on doing your work, learning about your manager and coworkers and pleasing customers that stakeholders get lost. Yet stakeholders provide you a base outside of your immediate department and can provide critical insights into the company, your team and your customers.
Go look for stakeholders to help you solidify your dream job.