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Auditing your Career Relationships

Jan 26, 2023
Auditing your Career Relationships

Do you dread going to work every day?

The truth is, a lot of us struggle from time to time with work - it can’t always be perfect, and it won’t always be perfect.

Particularly, this time of year - a lot of us are still getting into the swing of working after having such an extended period of time off for the holiday season! But, a new year brings a new opportunity to have a “clear-out” and check in with yourself.

So, when was the last time you audited your career relationships?

It sounds prescriptive, but in reality, auditing your career relationships can bring you clarity, control, and also assess who is (and maybe who isn’t) important for your development this year.

We spend the majority of our lives at work

For a lot of us, whether we’re physically in an office or working remotely/hybrid, we spend a lot of our time at work. We probably interact with our colleagues, clients, and customers more than we do with our friends and family - so the relationships you have at work are very important to your development as well as your day-to-day happiness. 

And sometimes, there are people at work who don’t positively contribute to our development

Auditing your career relationships requires you to be honest with yourself: who is enabling you to be the best version of yourself at work, and who perhaps is holding you back? This can be a tough pill to swallow at times, particularly if you’re in an environment where friendship and work relationships are blurred, but you want to surround yourself with the right people who make you feel good! 

There are a few things to consider when auditing your career relationships…

What are your goals, and who can help you achieve them? 

Who is aspirational or inspirational in your organisation, and what is your current relationship with them? Auditing your career relationships is about figuring out who is missing from your circle:

  • The inspiration: This individual is someone that you look up to, and they don’t necessarily have to be a leader or someone in your team. This is someone who is where you’d ideally like to be by the end of the year. Surround yourself with this person: their thoughts, advice, and feedback will be integral to your overall development. 
  • The critic: This individual is someone whose opinion you respect, and who delivers constructive criticism that enables you to grow. They might give you tough love sometimes - but it’s always received in the right way.
  • The confidant: Gossiping at work never ends well - instead, you need a confidant. A friend, a peer, someone who you can talk to when you have a bad time (and you know it won’t go past that conversation). The confidant ideally isn’t your manager or someone who is your junior - instead, someone who is at peer level.
  • The joy: Because let’s be honest, work should be fun, right? We all need that person who offers us joy, laughter and picks us up on the tough days.
And also, audit the culture and environment that you’re in…

Your relationships are important to look at for obvious reasons - but it’s also crucial to assess the environment you’re working in and find out if it’s best serving you. 

For example, if you’re struggling to work from home and want to have the opportunity to work in the office more - make this your goal and also communicate it. Equally, if you’re in a hybrid or remote model, think about how this makes you feel and if it allows you to truly flourish in your current role. Look at your options and be honest with yourself. 

Finally, worry about what you can control and try to not sweat the small stuff. Surrounding yourself with great people at work can make the world of difference - so keep that in mind when doing your career audit this year. 

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