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Popularity the best way to get ahead professionally

Over three quarters of Australian professionals perceive being liked by co-workers as the best way to progress their career, with looking good and getting along with the boss being voted less important.

Around 3,200 working professionals globally, including more than 400 in Australia participated in the study conducted by IPSOS Mori and Catalyst Research and released by LinkedIn.

For Aussies, popularity in the workplace was voted more important than looking good or getting on with the boss compared to our British counterparts, 38 percent of whom saw office popularity important and 66 percent agreed that building a relationship with their manager was the most significant career driver.

Nourish Coaching Australia career coach and director Sally-Anne Blanshard said forging a strong relationship with colleagues is a great way to learn and develop one another’s skills.

“Those who place significance on strong relationships with co-workers are likely to have good influencing skills, which are great to have when teams work together under pressure,” she said.

“Good influencing skills are key in all types of career and sectors but particularly useful as your career accelerates and you start to manage people,’ she added.

The research found that Aussies also place some importance on looking the part, with 69 percent of professionals feeling that this would help their careers.

Being seen in the right places and at industry events was an important factor according to 39 percent of Australian employees.

Blanshard agrees that workers need to supplement their skills with the right interaction and networking techniques in order to get the best out of the career. Below are her tips on how to stay ahead:

1. Always look your best. Your appearance gives the first impression on your personal standards. Any photos of you, such as your LinkedIn profile photo, should look professional.

2. Get to know your boss. He/she is a key part of your personal learning and development, and you’ll be spending a lot of time together. So take the time to nurture the relationship. Keep an eye on trends and articles that your manager shares on LinkedIn and create a conversation offline to demonstrate your interest.

3. When you meet new people – remember them! Connect with new contacts on LinkedIn, and then make sure they remember you by interacting with them regularly and sharing useful content.

4. Never stop learning! Industry knowledge is key, especially in any consulting career. Read any relevant magazines, books and research papers that will provide knowledge. Additionally, browse LinkedIn for groups relevant to your subject area, and customise your news feed to include the most relevant news for your industry.

5. Network. Broaden your connections by accepting invitations for relevant industry events. If networking in person isn’t your thing, or you have limited time, you can network online using LinkedIn to connect globally with the industry’s best.