Welcome to a new year and a fresh start.
Working day-to-day or building a business can be a rough endeavour sometimes. Finding the right balance and keeping everything moving in the right direction is not always easy. The good thing is that if you are well networked, you don’t have to go it alone. There are people around you with whom you can bounce ideas off of and contact if you need help and support to find a new job or ask questions.
What if you do not have a strong network though? Maybe you have been out of the workforce for family reasons or come back from travels? The New Year is a great time to dust off the address book and make things happen. Many professional organisations also have events to reconnect and get members back into the groove after the holiday season. If you are ready to kick the New Year into high gear then here are a few ideas to get you started.
What do you want to achieve?
If you sign up for a writing group but your plan for the year is to develop a greater understanding of technology, you are going to have a really hard time meeting your goals. Put a laser focus on what you need to accomplish. If you own your own business and want to increase sales with a specific demographic, take time to network and get feedback. It’s all about your goals.
Sign up for groups.
Now comes the fun part – signing up for groups and events. If you need a place to start, WATC has compiled this really
great list of organisations. Take 30 – 40 minutes to think about where you want to engage. This could also include alumni groups or a network tied to a volunteer activity.
Meet up with old contacts.
A lot of people you know might have moved on to a new role in the New Year. See what is happening in their lives and offer support. You have your goals and they have theirs. The good thing about old contacts is that you are both people who know each other and want to help one another. Even if you have not seen someone in a while, you can check in and see if they want to attend a networking event or grab a drink.
Don’t forget your workplace.
Your workplace might have some great groups that meet up on a regular basis. I joined my office Toastmasters organisation because I want to become more concise. It can take me awhile to get to the point sometimes and I would like to fix that. Thankfully I found a safe environment where I can develop myself over my lunch break.
Now that you’re ready to go you need to keep it up. Grab some business cards, make time to meet new people and connect with other individuals. You’ll find that a lot of people want to help you and you will probably help them a lot too.
About the author
Joy Adams is a blogger and one of WATCs 2015 Rising Stars. She is a British-American businesswoman who has worked in both the public and private sectors in the US and UK. Joy currently serves on the Advisory Board for Vital Voices Europe, an organization dedicated to supporting and developing women leaders. She also writes a lifestyle blog for budding philanthropists and art collectors at Luxeher.com.
The Workher blog is all about taking your work life to the next level with practical tips and details on the latest news about pay, progression, and opportunities.