In a recent chat with a friend, he mentioned to me that he was hoping to move up within his company within the next year. When I asked him what has he done or what is he doing to prepare for his desired promotion, he pretty much said in response, “not a damn thang.”

In his eyes, he knew that he wouldn’t be prepared to take the next step in his career until about another year later so besides doing his current work and being punctual, he didn’t realize that he should be doing other things.

If you are like my friend and are hoping to move up in your company soon (whether that’s in a few months or a year), there is one VERY important thing that you should do.

This one VERY important thing is……. *drum roll please*

Start networking with the right people that will either A) do the hiring and/or B) that work in the department that you desire to be apart of.

I cannot stress how important this is besides simply telling you that by doing the aforementioned, you are getting your name out there and your presence known. Why wait until you need the opportunity to introduce yourself to the people that matter the most?

I recommend to send an email to the people that work in the area that you hope to work in. This email should state who you are, what you do, how long you’ve been doing it, and why you hope to join their team soon. If you are bout it bout it, you should even ask to steal a few minutes of their time to discuss how they got into the position they are in and to get career advice as you prepare to take the next steps in yours. Sending emails like this is a great idea because #1) It’ll help you get connected and learn valuable info, and #2) People love to feel important so by reaching out to them, you are stroking their ego (keep in mind, this is the same ego that could help you when you are looking to move up).

If you don’t know where to start with your email, I’ve shared a cute little email example below that you can customize and use.

Hi [insert name],

My name is Jackie Smith and I work in the project management department at Coca Cola. In this department, I provide support to [insert name] and I have helped our team accomplish [insert accomplishments] since I began work back in [insert year]. I am hoping to transition into your department within the next year, and I am reaching out to you because I know you are a valuable asset to the [insert department]. If you are able, I would love to chat with you for about 15-20 minutes to hopefully learn more about you and gain some advice on what I should be doing now to become a great fit for your department. Please let me know what day and time you are available.

Thank you,

[insert your name]