Leveraging Your Internal Network for Career Growth

Shalini Singhal

Head of Investment Operations and Data Governance in Asset Management IT at Swiss Re



I had been with a company for three years when the team I was on decided to go through a restructuring process and realign with different departments. I was in a very project centered role, however, due to the restructure that role would no longer exist. I was disheartened, disappointed, and uncertain about what I should do next.

Actions taken

I didn't have a strong feeling of the direction the team was heading, plus a lot of people I was working with had already left. Therefore, I didn't want to stick through the restructuring process and simply see where I ended up. Furthermore, I was questioning the possibility of looking for other opportunities externally.

In addressing the situation I turned to a colleague in another department. I chatted to her about what was going on, my feelings of not fitting in with the team anymore, and confusion about what my next step was going to be. She, herself, was a product owner and a business analyst and happened to mention that they had an opening on her team. It had yet to be advertised or posted but she suggested that I reach out to her manager and speak to him about the position. Thus, I actually used the internal network at my company to get a lead on a new role.

I put myself in touch with the manager and explained that my colleague suggested I reach out. I told him I knew someone on his team had resigned and asked about possibly discussing the role with him. We set up a coffee meeting, sans resume. He was happy to talk with me and offered me the job on the spot. He liked my proactivity. He felt I was articulate and well-presented. It was an ideal win-win situation. I had saved him the burden of going through an extensive interview process, from filtering through resumes for the next six weeks. And I was awarded with a new position within my company, just on a brand new team.

Lessons learned

  • If you want to grow in your career, start by leveraging your internal network. Go out for coffee with people in different departments. Go and talk to random people that you see in the kitchen. You never know where opportunities can come from.
  • Be bold and courageous when reaching out to people, especially management. Have confidence in yourself and the skills that you possess.

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Shalini Singhal

Head of Investment Operations and Data Governance in Asset Management IT at Swiss Re

CommunicationCareer Growth

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