For many busy professionals, it seems that you just can’t do it all. Whether your commute is short or long, you’re responsible for all or none of the household chores, or you have 2 or 12 family events on the weekends, it just never seems that there’s time enough to both do your job and build your network. While you know that networking is an important way to stay connected with others in your field and updated on what is happening in your industry, it always seems that, when you must choose networking or job, the job wins out because, well, it pays the bills.
However, the good news is that you can integrate networking into your busy life, especially if you can approach it not as a duty, but as pleasure.
As Pamela Ryckman discusses in her book Stiletto Network, many women seem to have an innate sense of how to network in ways that are enjoyable, even fun, and still accomplish the goals that are so important in networking.
- For example, Pamela states that one main goal of an established networking group is cheerleading. Here we’re not talking about the high school pompom version, but rather the willingness of members in the group to support and encourage each other along the way.
- Networking groups can also hold each other accountable for the changes that individuals want to make in their professional—and personal—paths, and support each other in attaining those goals. Often members of these networks also provide valuable inside connections with company and industry leaders.
- Another important role that network groups can play is that of sounding board. Network members have probably tried many of the same things you are considering, and you can avoid a lot of wasted time and energy by learning first from others’ experiences.
- Finally, networking groups are typically viewed as “dinner with friends” rather than “work,” which helps men or women to carve out an evening from their busy schedules and truly enjoy the time they spend with each other. This is especially important for anyone who freelances or works in a very small office and might need the opportunity to interact with professional colleagues.
When you recognize the necessity of this practice in your professional rolle - and find a way to make it enjoyable - you will discover that you can, indeed, have both your job and your networking.
If you are seeking to establish or join a networking group, Ryckman’s book is a great resource or, if you'd like to dive right in and find networking groups that fit your interests, try MeetUp. If you’re looking to add qualified staff to your organization, we are a great resource. Contact us today.
- 3 Tips to Improving Your Accountability Ability
- How Taking the Occasional Day Off is Good for Productivity
- Grammar Could Be Holding You Back From Your Dream Career
- Does Your Social Media Photo Scream Career Potential or Disaster?
- Key to Self-Improvement? Go Out of Your Way to Make Someone's Day