My Company’s Affinity Group Helped Me Advance My Career was originally published on WayUp Guide.
If you’re on the hunt for a full-time job, you
might’ve heard of employee resource groups (ERGs) or affinity groups (AGs).
They’re organizations within companies that connect people of all seniority
levels together based on interests or traits so that they can build a network,
discuss common issues, and—most importantly—help drive the company’s culture
And while these groups can help a company make
great strides toward building a more diverse and inclusive culture, they can
also help the people in them advance their careers.
Take Justin, for example. At TEKsystems—a
national leader in technical recruiting—he’s an Account Manager, a role into
which he was promoted after quickly becoming a high performer, and one of the
ways he accelerated his career growth was through TEKsystems’ unique employee resource
Here’s how these groups help changed Justin’s
career—and the company around them.
Helping Connect The ‘NextGen’
ERGs and AGs like Pride@TEKsystems and
Women@TEKsystems are known at the company for their ability to foster important
conversations that help colleagues gain new perspectives and adopt more
However, at TEKsystems, these groups also serve a more direct business purpose—and that’s where Justin comes in. Justin’s a part of the intergenerational resource group—NextGen@TEKsystems—that helps connect employees with leaders from other generations at the company.
“We’re bridging the gap and helping to inspire
the next generation of leaders at the company, hence the name,” Justin
And, as a key figure in the relatively new
group, Justin was given the opportunity to take on more leadership responsibilities
than most recent grads get to see in their first role. And what he did with
that opportunity really helped him drive company goals forward.
Driving The Business—And The Culture—Forward
TEKsystems is in the business of technical recruiting, which means they help their clients— including hundreds of major corporations and innovative new companies in the United States—connect with the best talent for their niche and hard-to-fill roles. Networking with top talent is, therefore, an essential part of their strategy.
That’s why Justin and his colleagues in the
NextGen employee resource group had an idea to expand the scope of their
group’s activities outside the boundaries of the company. One of these events,
for example, is a meetup for young professionals in the tech space with people
on the TEKsystems team for a knowledge exchange.
Here both parties can exchange career
guidance, discuss the state of the industry, and forge some of those same
intergenerational connections that help drive the TEKsystems culture forward.
“With these meetups, we were able to integrate
our marketplace strategy with our internal methods for forging connections,”
Justin says. “We’ll do these for underrepresented groups, Java programmers, and
all sorts of demographics. We found that we can all really help each other.”
Moving Up Takes Leadership Opportunities—And TEKsystems Is Offering Them
TEKsystems is known for its culture of quick,
merit-based promotions. And one of the ways they prepare people—especially individuals
without a ton of experience on their resumes—for these new roles is by
constantly providing new challenges and opportunities to learn and demonstrate
“My director observed that I was able to
bridge the generational gap and bring people together informally,” Justin
explains. “And the leadership team wanted to formalize that so we could start
helping people who weren’t as comfortable in those situations.”
That’s why he was offered a leadership role in
the NextGen employee resource group—and his new role as an Account Manager.
Justin’s experience isn’t an entirely unique
one either. Whether it’s through their one-on-one mentorship program for new
Technical Recruiters or their culture-crafting ERGs, TEKsystems manages to find
ways to help their employees advance while also moving the company forward.
But that sort of symbiotic relationship,
Justin says, is how they do business.