Are Your Business Associations Helping Or Hurting Your Career?

July 30, 2015  |  

You really need to be careful when it comes to your workplace entourage. There is such a thing as guilty by association. Sometimes “the homies” can’t continue with you on your journey if you want to be seen in a certain light. Then again, many of us make the mistake of trusting professionals in our lives that prove to be everything except about their business.

Donald Trump has once again made headlines for a pretty bonehead move — not that he needs to dig himself a bigger grave in that category. He recently admitted a desire to put a particular woman in his cabinet should he be elected. Noting her intellect and ability to shrug off nonsense, the Trumpster actually thinks that, wait for it, Sarah Palin would be great. Gasp. Now this is the same Sarah Palin who wanted foreign policy cred because she could see Russia from her backyard, thought we should “stand with our North Korea allies” and couldn’t name a publication she reads for information.

In the words of Antoine Dodson, “You are so dumb.”

I definitely understand the importance of rolling with people you generally like, but sometimes they don’t make the best members for your inner circle. This doesn’t mean you have to cease all communication with them. Just think twice about the brand you desire to build and all the necessary pieces to make it work.

Think back to your days in high school and the times you had to work on a group project. Did you automatically pick your besties, even if they weren’t known for their academic aptitude? Halfway through the assignment — and more than likely staying up late to do all the work — you probably felt your choice wasn’t the best for your grade. Now you of course could’ve chosen to carry these people by doing their work for them, but what good would that have done you — or them for that matter if they went to college?

It doesn’t make sense.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to attach yourself to people who are driven to succeed and put in the work to make their dreams a reality. In fact, it needs more thought than just the brush off as it can cost you greatly on your job. This is one of the biggest reasons why you should step outside of your comfort zone and meet new colleagues. You never know who is sitting near you that has the knowledge or a skill set you need for an upcoming project. Diversifying your work group can also show managers you have a willingness to team up with other people that could lead to a future promotion.

I’ve had to make cuts in both my personal and professional life when it came to the people around me and the person I wanted to be. As great as it is to have longtime friends and associates, at some point, you need to determine who builds you up and tears you down. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t automatically mean it will be great for your future.

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