Career Success Isn’t a Solo Sport

Having a supportive boss who believes in you is vital to advance your career. But getting the right people–clients, partners, executives–to know you better can be a real game changer. 

I finally decided to give golf a try this past year. And guess what? Turns out I love it… and then I hate it. But mostly I love it.

But, here’s the kicker. Now that I’ve discovered how much I enjoy golf (even though I’m still just a newbie), I’m kicking myself for not picking it up ages ago.

Business Bonding 

Back in my corporate job days, it would have been a blast to join my coworkers on golf outings, not to mention how beneficial it could have been for my career.

I mean, every single company I worked for put on golf events at world-class courses to host VIP clients and partners. And guess what? I never took part!

Meanwhile, my work buddies enjoyed sun-filled days outside cubicle land, networking with higher ups—who, by the way, never missed out on a golf event. My coworkers were swinging sticks and gaining valuable facetime with the VIPs, while I spent the day tied to my desk with my nose to the grindstone.

And let me tell you, the relationships my golf-loving colleagues built with clients and partners made them extra valuable within our company. I mean, spending 4-5 hours in a golf cart together can lead to some serious bonding.  Plus, these connections often opened doors to future job opportunities.

Career Success Isn’t a Solo Sport

You see, spending time with higher ups and industry influencers is essential to get to know the many people who can help you on your career journey. Afterall, how these influencers view you and talk about you can make or break your shot at that next promotion.

You can’t achieve career success in isolation. Gaining support from higher ups is vital to advance your career. You need allies who genuinely want to see you succeed, believe in your potential, and are willing to speak up for you.

Now, you might be thinking, “I’ve got my manager’s backing, so I’m golden.” Having a supportive boss who believes in you is undoubtedly crucial.

But your manager alone won’t cut it. What if your boss suddenly quits? 

In reality, there are more decision-makers than you might realize when it comes to promotions. And as you climb the career ladder, the key players who matter most will shift and evolve.

Sometimes, the game-changer for your career is getting the right people to know you better! 

For instance, your boss’s boss might not be rallying behind your promotion just because they haven’t had much exposure to you. So, it’s time to find ways to interact with them more often!

Seek Out Low-Pressure Settings

Of course, golf isn’t the only way to make these connections happen. There are plenty of other opportunities, ones that offer a more relaxed and low-pressure setting compared to formal business meetings.

Your company might have a running club, pickleball teams, a softball league, or various other social avenues worth exploring to expand your network and propel your career forward.

Activities like these can be especially great if you struggle with small talk and shy away from formal networking events—they offer built-in conversation starters that can lower any stress or social anxiety.

The bottom line is career success isn’t a solo sport. Forming strong bonds with the right people is a major deal when you’re gunning for success in your job.


About Author

Alison started her 20+ year career as an admin assistant and eventually advanced to a CMO role. But, as a quiet introvert, she was often overlooked for promotions. And in 2012, while stuck in middle management, Alison made a goal to use her corporate career to achieve financial freedom and retire in her 40s. You can read more about her story here.



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