Your success on the job often relies on the type of capital you possess.
We’ve been discussing social and cultural capital over the past few weeks, and these two types of capital are what matter at work.
To review, social capital is all about the strength of relationships and connections within a group, whereas cultural capital is the shared values and goals that bring a group together.
Social capital can help you achieve more or reach objectives more easily at work.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at social capital and see how to assess and build upon it.
Assessing Your Social Capital
Maybe you don’t even know where you stand with your social capital.
After all, it’s not exactly something tangible that you can measure.
The following questions might help you identify where you’re at with your social capital:
- Do I carry influence? What is my reputation like? Do others see me as strong or weak, reliable or flakey, positive or negative? Do they want to work with me?
- How strong are my relationships within my team and without? Do I build connections with others across departments? Do I network?
- Do I build strategic and enduring relationships or just transactional ones?
- Do I have the energy and influence to mobilize resources and colleagues to support and achieve my goals?
- Do I keep abreast of important news and developments within my workplace and industry?
Improving your social capital can enhance your job performance, satisfaction, and career prospects.
To do so, networking with peers and colleagues in your industry, cultivating relationships based on mutual interests and values, and offering help and support to others are paramount to banking more social capital.
Not only does social capital improve individual success and potential, but the entire workplace improves.
Successful workplaces cultivate social structures in which everyone benefits.
This happens through social intercourse, empathy, fellowship, compassion, consideration, and most importantly, trust.
If the social structure benefits only a small group within the workplace, the organization’s aggregate benefits from their social capital decrease.
It feeds into a negative company culture, in which trust is lost, along with the sense of community.
When none of these things are there, those in the social structure can’t rely on each other and cooperation and society collapses.
If you look at your workplace and you cannot identify its values, then that’s a problem.
It means you’ll have a hard time personally building social capital there…as will the workplace, itself.
Building your cultural capital, which relates to your knowledge, skills, and understanding of cultural norms and practices, is also important for career success.
We’ll talk more about that next week.