Whether you're someone that is deeply in love with their job at their company or someone that is less enamored, keeping up corporate relations is, and will continue to be, one of the most important ways for you to stay employed.
Let me start by saying, "I LOVE MY JOB" - if you're reading this and you're from my company, there is no need to fret, I am actually quite happy with my role and this is simply observations that I've made over the last few weeks.
What am I talking about?
I'm talking about how do you keep your job! You need to get yourself out of the line of FIRE, and I mean company separation, as quickly as you can. Right now is not the sort of time that you want to have less than firm footing for your career. The job market is hard up, housing is crap, living expenses aren't cheap, and your parents just announced a strict no "son living at home" policy. Here are some thoughts on how you can keep the job and avoid heading back to the nest:
Become too Valuable to Fire
Convincing your company to spend money on you is like catnip for both of you. Magically, overnight, the company has decided to spend $xx,xxx on you and firing you would invalidate that investment. Training, vendor training, is a great way to get $$ invested in you. It's painless to you and has a low barrier to entry for the company as well. I bet you can get one training class a year plus expenses related to the training without having to sign a 5 year contract.
This year, I was lucky enough to get training authorized for a week. This one time expense from the company will make an approximate 6.5% of total salary investment added onto my total compensation for the year. That doesn't sound like a lot but if you are still in a junior position like me, I bet that most other analysts aren't getting that sort of spend from their firm.
Another great way to get well known in your firm is to sell something as a junior level employee. This is no trivial matter to accomplish, BUT... if you can do it, you've got your next promotion pretty much in the bag. How do you do it? Get to know your client or project REALLY well. Understand their concerns as your concerns. Find their fears as your fears.
Then, tell them something they know but they don't want to hear. Give them the problem AND A SOLUTION. Use your corporate-foo to convince them you're the man/company for the job, and then immediately make it your boss's win. Making him or her a winner will and you will win too. I've recently seen how making my manager look good makes me look good too.
The old addage, "It's not what you know, it's who you know" no longer applies. That makes you the center of power in the networking game and you're not it. The new phrase is "It's not who you know, but who knows you!"
If you play golf with the VP of Sales, that's fairly good insurance that you're not going to walk into the office to find a pink slip on your desk. This isn't as easy as getting training, and not as easy as making your boss look good. This is a project that takes time and tact. Use this step wisely. That said, great risk comes great reward as this will probably have you where you want to be the fastest.
These strategies will hopefully help you win the battle of corporate relations. Your mission, whether you choose to accept it or not, is to keep your job and be happy doing it. I know that I'm happy with my company and I know that I'm working on these strategies - I need them and they need me and that's how we will work together and move forward.