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This is a fairly common challenge but I'm curious to hear about other people's success stories. I have a good 'network' on LinkedIn (1st degree connections). My network isn't made up of all the folks I've personally worked with/for, but often those who I've come across through non-direct sources e.g. a mention in an article/journal, an active poster on LinkedIn in an area of my interest, a person within my company whom I don't necessarily know but works in an area either closely related to mine or one I have professional interests in.

Recently, I made a connection with a senior executive in my company who accepted my LinkedIn request, responded back saying "happy to help however I can" and referred me (via the LinkedIn response message) to another executive in the company based in a different location. I attempted to reach out to both via internal email to setup some time to get to know more about their business areas, however neither of them accepted my meeting invites/messages.

How do you deal with such situations where the "leaders" don't necessarily appear to be open to fostering the "one team" and "work together" notions that most companies (definitely my company's motto) appear to (or rather pretend to) live by?

As a side note: Anytime I've had individuals reach out to me for advice, I've always been eager to find time to give them all the info/guidance I can. My motivation to do is such experiences as described above where I'm on the other side of the fence, needing help/guidance/support.

  • Why the downvotes? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Jun 7 '18 at 7:34
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    I didn't downvote, but I do think Freewill is overthinking this. This executive is probably busy. Also, it's kind of weird to book a meeting via email when you haven't really met yet and you don't work in the same department, although you both work for the same company. – Stephan Branczyk Jun 7 '18 at 10:33
  • When did you start at your current company? You should get opportunities to meet your co-workers, even those working in other departments, after a while. If you're still new, just give it time. For external networking, have you tried networking through meetup.com ? I'd suggest you try it (assuming meetup is being used where you are). – Stephan Branczyk Jun 7 '18 at 10:37
  • Thanks guys. I’ve been with the company for a couple of years. I’m aware of meetup and other channels but I was aiming to connect with folks internally (different location) to see what they do and whether there could be an opportunity for a rotation/relocation. Personally, I don’t think this is weird in any way. If a co-worker is reaching out to someone in a position of authority (hiring in this case), I would hope they would be open to such proactive networking and interest. Secondly, before setting up the meeting I did seek out whether they would even respond/bother entertaining my request – Freewill Jun 7 '18 at 12:18
  • I would discourage people from downvoting because they disagree with the OP's outlook. The topics of networking and obtaining promotions are certainly within scope. – AffableAmbler Jun 7 '18 at 18:22
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My company recently got a new CTO (my boss's boss's boss). During his introductory presentation, he told us he would only accept a meeting invitation with someone if we told him specifically what the purpose was and why we needed his input. Seeing as he has a lot of responsibilities and people to manage across multiple continents, I think this is more than fair. The executives at your company may genuinely want to support you but with so many demands on their time, a one-to-one meeting to discuss your career goals may not be possible. You'd probably have better luck staying in touch over email.

If you really want to meet with them for the sake of networking, instead of coming to them with a request for an open-ended discussion, maybe you could think of something to offer them, such as an idea for a new product or process, that would be worth their time to discuss. You could start the conversation over email and see how it goes. If they say they are interested in pursuing it, you could then propose a meeting to discuss it further.

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