Today in my weekly team meeting they gave me a little shout out because this month is my 1 year anniversary of being at the company. This got me to think about what the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year when it comes to my career is. In my industry and role I work a lot with vendors. What has helped me be efficient and appreciated in my short career so far has been treating my vendors like actual human beings. This may seem simple but please continue to read!
I’m not encouraging anyone to be your vendors bff and let anything slide when they aren’t providing you with what you need to do your job. I’m just encouraging to always have some level of friendliness with your vendors. Some people in business can be so tough that they kind of forget that there is an actual human being behind the computer screen they sent an email to.
By holding some level of friendliness with my vendors I have found that they trust me a lot more and they are a lot more timely with getting me what I need to complete my job. It can be hard to form a good relationship with your vendors if you haven’t met them in person, so when I started meeting them in person I made sure to spend a few minutes talking to them even though I’m not the assistant buyer (which is who they are mainly meeting with). At the end of their meetings with my assistant buyers they usually had me come back to go over “house keeping” tasks that may have gotten lost in translation over email.
The first couple times I did this it didn’t go perfectly since I wasn’t super comfortable with my position yet. But, by having these “house keeping” meetings we were able to make sure everyone was on the same page. Eventually as I got more comfortable with all of my tasks I started to get included in main part of their meetings with my assistant buyers. By being present in the bulk of the meetings, I have a more well rounded understanding of the business. This knowledge allows me to communicate with vendors without having include 5 people to solve 1 issue.
While my relationship with my direct team is most important, a lot of my job relies on information vendors provide for me. By having good morale with my vendors I am able to get the information I need in a more timely manner and in turn I am able to be more effective in my role which benefits the rest of the team. Obviously the more effective I am in my role, the more progress I will make in my career.