Maintaining Senior Relationships at Work

Through your early career, it will seem like everyone you work with will be senior to you. They will be. And damn it- sucking up to them is unfortunately part of your job description.  It would be so nice to scrunch up in your office chair, just you and your half-caf double latte, hold the foam.  But no… you have to impress your senior colleagues throughout each project. At least when the project is over, you can breathe a tiny sigh of relief. Relax just a little now that your every move isn’t critiqued by all those senior officers.

 Uh… not really. Now you have to make sure that your senior colleagues remember you, and not just from anything you did at the holiday office party. Your goal is for them to request you for a future project. Let’s assume for the moment that you want to work for them on that future project, that it would be career enhancing and fun. Ok… maybe just career enhancing…you’re no dummy. What you need to do is to invent ways to stay friendly with your former project mate. You may even find that he becomes a mentor to you in the future.

Here’s an example of how you might actively maintain a business relationship with a senior colleague.  Let’s say you worked with Connor, an officer from Sales and Marketing, for two months on a recent project. Connor appears to be on a fast track toward executive management.  He is one level senior to you, so he doesn’t seem scarily unapproachable.  Try this; pretend you happen to be on Connor’s floor. He doesn’t have to know you hoofed it across the building and up two flights to get there. Poke your head into his office and ask if he would like to walk down and grab a sandwich with you. Technically, you probably only eat salad or yogurt, but grabbing a sandwich screams casual insouciance so what the heck. You can even bring a colleague with you; do whatever you need to do to maintain that post-project relationship. You don’t have to build your relationship around food, either. Simply pop into Connor’s office to catch up when you happen to be in the neighborhood. These are small steps, but if you follow-up enough times with senior colleagues, you’ll build a base of trust and friendship. That’s the way stars are made in the business world.