It’s true that your contacts can open doors that you and your knowledge on an island cannot, but ultimately others can only get you so far.
I was reminded of this when I caught wind that a protégé expected me to take her to the next level. That would be fine, except I had already helped her land an employment opportunity a few years ago.
Let me stress that she’s got a great work ethic. Terrific attitude. She’s a really good fit with the company. And, she’s perfectly capable of getting herself to the next level without me IF she takes the initiative. By take the initiative, I’m talking about the proactive steps necessary to prove your ability to handle the added responsibilities that come with advancement.
Resting on others in your network with more access or influence isn’t a sustainable career strategy; frankly, it’s selfish. Ultimately, the only guaranteed, long-term strategy to reach your career milestones is to dig in, prove your worth and take initiative.
No one can earn that career “bump” for you. While you can leverage another contact, you need to do the legwork – through your efforts and by making yourself indispensible to your boss. With this approach, you’ll be the first in line for that promotion.