Over the last few months I have had several conversations with internal and corporate communication professionals on networking, best practices, career management and making progress in this evolving function. In this post I am sharing a simple Progress Guide For Internal Communicators (with tweaks, really anyone interested to make progress) can use as a map.
However, before we get there – consider these scenarios.
- Neha has about 10 years in business communications and corporate social responsibility and leads the function in a leading hospital chain. She worked mostly overseas and returned along with her husband from the United States a year ago. Hoping to get a sense of the business landscape and the opportunities in the city she approached a few leaders in the communications function. Many cold shouldered her requests to meet or share information stating their busy schedules or confidentiality. Her feelers via Linkedin and other forums don’t seem to make any headway. Neha is disappointed by the lack of engagement by communication leaders in what is considered an important function. She is unsure on how to progress.
- Manoj is an internal communications professional with a leading telecom firm and has a couple of years of experience. He worked earlier with a PR agency and joined the organization to get a broader understanding of communications. After handling the company intranet and magazine for a couple of years he doesn’t see his career progressing further. He is unaware of how to gain newer perspectives, what it takes to grow in his role and how to go about things.
- Jini is an internal communicator with an automotive firm’s shared service unit with over 3000 employees. Her business leaders expect her to learn from best practices in the industry and in the city. Her attempts to gather a group together meets with resistance as most communicators she connects with are unsure of her agenda and are unwilling to share information. Jini isn’t sure what to do next.
Faced similar situations?
You know the work on hand. You have a fair idea on how to get things done. You want to grow and get better at what you do. Yet, when you reflect on the outcomes a few months or a year later you feel not much has changed. Or plans you made didn’t get the attention it needed. Often what you began at the start dropped off the list.
Making progress is hard work and without a plan and knowledge of what it takes to move ahead you can get overwhelmed. Identifying what is important, defining what is achievable and setting clear measures are essential to progress. Having a mentor is very relevant to discuss approaches and gain perspectives.
The progress guide covers actions you can take to self-reflect, engage stakeholders, your manager, your team and the community among others.
Keeping a progress handy can hopefully keep you grounded.
Interested to know what you think.