No one moved their way to the top of their career without help, and no one will stay at the top without helping others.
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Every employee will take a different path to advance in their industry, but workers who strive to help out their colleagues and others in their network stand to reap substantial professional benefits.
There are more benefits to helping others progress their careers than just feeling good about yourself--there are professional benefits as well. Here are three:
1. Helping others is part of what makes you a leader. Here’s a secret no one tells you when you embark on your career: You can’t be a true leader if you’re not willing to help someone else. Helping one another is part of life and a fundamental element of being a successful leader and cultivating a productive and efficient workforce. After all, just because you have the title “manager,” does not automatically make you a leader. A leader is someone who is willing to teach and help another’s advance, learn from others and also showcase their own skills and talents.
2. You are making a difference. The concept of “charity starts at home” also applies in the office. When you willingly help someone, you are making your network active, which can lead to more professional opportunities for yourself. Looking for ways you can help those within your network sends a message and sets the tone for what it means to be connected to you, and your network is more likely to help you out down the road.
3. It gives you an opportunity to learn and grow professionally. Every professional interaction brings personal and professional growth, whether it’s furthering your problem-solving skills, communication tactics or leadership expertise. Being helpful and helping others succeed proves you are a team player, which is an important quality if your goal is to climb the corporate ladder.
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One final note: Just because someone helps you, doesn’t mean that person will be the appropriate person to help you when you need it. This is not about keeping score. If that’s your approach, it is sure to backfire. Have a positive attitude about helping others and when you need assistance, you’ll be amazed at who shows up.
Lindsay Broder, The Occupreneur™ Coach (on Twitter @occupreneur), is a certified professional coach based in New York. A Wall Street veteran, she specializes in Occupreneur™ coaching, strategy and crisis management services for executives, business leaders and organizations who strive to improve their businesses or careers.