Day 175: Networking is work

Wow! I’m almost half-way done with my goal of blogging everyday about making better connections with people. I’m a little surprised at myself, that I’ve made it this far, but maybe some of the things I’ve written have encouraged someone somewhere to put down their phones, look up, and have meaningful conversation with those around them.

Today at work, I had a conversation at work about the need to network and make connections with colleagues in our fields of expertise. It’s easy to go to a job every day, work non-stop with our heads down in our projects. It’s not as easy to stop what we’re doing, walk around the floor, and see how others are doing. When we do that similar thing with professional networking groups, we can learn what projects others are doing, and what best practices are like in other companies. And, there are some moments in our professional lives that we need others. Maybe we need their insight; maybe we need their feedback; maybe we need to know who they know so we can expand our levels of influence, and others can influence us.

As an introvert who can play an extravert when I need to, it’s not my first impulse to go to networking groups. I have to sign up and pay, sometimes, just to hold myself to the fire. I figure if I pay, I will go…and it always works, even if I’m dreading an event. And when I go, I’m glad that I’m there, learning from others. It’s important to link-in with people when you meet them, so you have that professional connection. And who knows? Maybe you find kindreds through the process. I have, in various seasons of my career.

I may have lost some people who don’t go to a job every day, but I know that doesn’t mean you’re not working. Even as a homemaker, or a volunteer, or whatever it is that you do during the day, you still work…and you still need to network. Maybe it’s finding people in the same season of life that you’re in. Maybe it’s finding people with similar hobbies or interests. Whatever it is, you need others, so let’s start working on your networking opportunities.

DAY 175 HOMEWORK: Where do you find a networking group? Let’s look first at those in a physical workplace outside the home. Do a Google search for professional organizations in your area of skill. If you want to change careers, look for a professional group in the area that you’d like to move towards. For those who work in any capacity at home. Search out organizations that match your interests or your season of life. Or, if you’ve stepped out of a career for a while, keep your foot in the door by going to the professional organizations in your area.

Once you have the information, the next step may be the most difficult. Find out their meeting times and GO!


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