Go to lunch with a coworker

By Scot Herrick | Business Networking

Jan 10

When I look back over my work at my company, one of the things that I realize I did not do enough of was to get out and meet other people in the company. Whether that was through meetings, breaks or lunch, meeting other people in your company is important to your networking.

Part of the reason to meet other people at work is simply because the work they do can be very interesting. In addition, people themselves can be very interesting. Of course, there are good career and networking reasons to meet with other people.

If you work in a position that is isolated from much of the company or only limited to your immediate work group, the need to meet other people is especially important because it helps give you a view of the company outside of your group.

From a networking perspective, here’s what you can naturally find out:

  1. Who is hiring in what departments
  2. How well projects are going
  3. What new things are on the horizon
  4. What new skills are now needed to work in other departments
  5. And, of course, all the wonderful rumors — and if someone really has the scoop whom you could consider an authority

It is not like you will find all this out in one lunch session — but over time, osmosis sets in and you will be surprised by how much you learn about other departments and areas simply by consistently interacting with others outside of the normal job.

Talk to other people: go to lunch with people outside your group, take a break, talk with the smokers (no, I don’t smoke — but go with them on smoke breaks), chat with people before meetings, or establish a development plan to do informational interviews with people in other departments.

But, interact with people in your company. It will help you stay informed and give you options compared to others that simply sit in cubes.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.

  • This is a wonderful suggestion. Holiday parties, which most of us attended, are a great way to meet people from other departments, and then follow up in the months to come with offers of coffee, lunch, etc. Another good way to meet people is through company-wide fundraising/community events. I think when you only get to know people in your own department, it’s sort of like only having a map with only half the roads on it….there’s a good chance you’re going to take some wrong turns. But by knowing how your entire company and the people function, you’re looking at the big map… and you’ll get to your destination a heck of a lot faster knowing where all the roads lead.
    Anita Bruzzese
    http://www.45things.com

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Good advice, Anita, especially as many companies have community events that gets people out of the workplace and into an area that enables good conversations.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Scot,

    Great idea which I have used over the years. The time I have ‘spent’ with my work colleagues is easily, easily outweighed by the help / support / advice I get back in return – especially in ‘crises’ situations.

    I recommend this practice to everyone. Start with maybe one or two a week. You may think it takes a lot of time but it is well worth it. In addition, as you say, you get to hear the latest gossip.

    Andrew

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