1. Administrative Assistants–Since admins are a go-between for a lot of people, they know what’s going on. People are disarmed by lower level employees. They will reveal things to admins they would not as likely reveal to a VP. It’s important to get to know all administrative staff members because they’re the ones that get things done. They are the heart and soul of an organization. They’re the ones that are the informal power, so to speak.
2. Human Resources–If you have a problem with a coworker, HR has a lot of power over what gets done. They don’t mainly represent you, the worker, they represent upper management, so making friends in HR might help you get a fair deal. Also, HR people know who is hiring, what is happening in the organization and what the company’s priorities are.
3. Interns–Employees need to remember that interns aren’t just there to do the worst tasks, but if your plate is too full and the interns like you, they may give more time to you than to someone else. Working with an intern can teach you so much from an educational standpoint. It’s a wonderful way to learn what’s new in your field with technology or concepts.
4. Security Guards and Custodial Staff–These are the people that are always watching and can tell you the things you would never expect. Security guards know who’s coming and going in the building, when the last crime happened nearby and any maintenance issues. If you share office space with other businesses, security guards know who’s moving in and out, while janitors can give you useful tidbits on bathroom conditions and the cafeteria’s food safety practices. Befriending these people is also a way to show that you don’t think anyone is less than anyone else.
5. “Networking Node”–This is the “most important person you would not think of.” It could be a custodian, an admin or a retiree back in the office, but whoever this person is, he or she “knows everything – who’s pregnant, where the money’s going, and you should know this person,” he says.