When Ruhul Amin (pseudonym) joined a prominent marketing agency as a client service executive, he was overwhelmed with his job responsibilities.
"Earlier, a total of three people were assigned to do the same task that I was asked to do just by myself," Amin said, adding, "I survived under immense work pressure for six months and proved my skills. But when I asked for a promotion, my boss said that I was not ready yet. I had no idea what he meant. I quit the job after struggling for a year."
Amin's story is not unique. Many people can relate to such experiences of having proven themselves, yet the management refused to promote them.
Like the people who emphasise on the power of "mama and khalu" (influential people in top positions) for securing jobs and projects, people who long for promotions often regret they are deprived of it because they do not have relations with such influential figures in such positions.
Now, how effectives are these "mama and khalu" relations in a professional career is debatable. But according to Harvard Business Review (HBR) findings, there are five certain office relationships that can help a skilful employee to succeed in their career.
If you can master these skills, the absence of the influential relationships in your life will not be able to hold you back from enjoying career success.
Share your good skills with others
Are you a team player? Does your CV state that you are an "excellent team player"? If so, it is time to prove that in real life once you are hired.
This brings about the perfect opportunity to show off your best skills to your management by helping out your teammates. Perhaps you are great at copywriting, preparing presentations or even at communicating. Why not help out a colleague who may be lagging behind at these fields?
Those you help will remember your good deeds and in turn, it will create a positive vibe around you as the cooperative colleague.
Once the office gets to know about how you are helping out your teammates, the management will conveniently take note of your skills and engage you with additional responsibilities.
Do not be a lone wolf achiever
How do you know if you are a lone wolf? Suppose you are in charge of a 15-people client service team. A year after you took over the team, the result your team produced exceeded the management's expectations.
But in the process, around 40% of the people you began with left their jobs and they blamed you for it.
Your management will appreciate the turnout, but a 'lone wolf' tag will always haunt your reputation for your management to consider you for a bigger role.
Mentor others to make your leadership skills shine
You learn best when you teach others. But to begin with, you need to know what you are best at, what you are best known for among your colleagues and what they approach you for once they come across a difficulty.
Find and grab those skills as your armours. And when you are ready for a bigger role, mentor your colleagues.
You should remember what Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric once said, "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others."
The people you coach will thank you, the management will notice you and your skills will shine even brighter. Great skills make a great employee but the willingness to share your skills with others to help them grow will make you a leader.
Learn to approach the colleague you find difficult to deal with
In almost every office you work, you will find people hard to talk to, deal with and work together. If you want to rise above, you will need to deal with them. If you continue to avoid them, soon you will find more people with such difficulty and you will get even more alienated.
One day you will perhaps find a frenemy working in your new workplace to whom you have to report, you cannot tell for sure.
Perhaps, they may end up working in your dream company where you would like an introduction. Most outstanding career-decision you could make in this regard is to get along with them productively.
Learn to say "no"
Are you one of those employees who believe promotion and working extra hours come hand in hand? This is not true. Promotion does not come along with the tendency of saying yes to everything; rather a diplomatic and judicious 'no' helps you achieve more in this regard.
There is indeed a delicate line where you have to say yes and where to say no. You need to line up your priorities first to master this skill.
Amii Barnard-Bahn writes in her HBR article that when it comes to "volunteering for cross-functional task forces and other opportunities to broaden your network, learning new skills outside your comfort zone, and earning the support of other executives outside your direct reporting line," best thing you could do is to say yes.
"Avoid purely social ones (like the office party) or those that lack the necessary sponsorship to get off the ground. Start forming your diplomatic 'no; skills early," Amii added.
Relationships are very important for a promotion. But remember, this comes only after you have mastered some necessary skills.
Ruhul Amin, the client service professional our story begins with, had skills and he proved himself as an efficient employee to the management as well. But he did not focus on building these necessary office relationships.
Always remember, in terms of shining in career, skills and relationships go hand in hand.