Hello Subscribers, my weekly writings will help you prepare for the week and set yourself up for success.
The return to work went better than expected, thanks to my incredible team. How can we set ourselves up for success? Teamwork can make the dream work. Consider focusing on your network this week to help you through. You do not have to accept or send many LinkedIn connection requests to grow your network. Like “shopping” in your closet, consider expanding beyond your department. Do you know how the functions upstream and downstream from you work? Who could you contact if you had an issue outside of your expertise? I was an administrative assistant for a large part of my career, and what I learned was that processes don’t get things done; people do. This week, how can you expand your network?
Believe it or not, I am shy, and networking is challenging. A friend of mine was shocked as I transformed into a wallflower at an event. I am also the person who will introduce everyone in the breakroom like I’m hosting afternoon tea. Maybe it is not shyness but an unwillingness to expend energy to meet expectations. Why expand your circle? What purpose does it serve? It could introduce you to opportunities or spark an interest in a new field. If you are job hunting, you may connect with someone who can introduce you to a contact. Or you may connect with someone you can mentor. You can also feel awkward and hide in the restroom or your cubicle. If you are not in a committed relationship, it’s good to have choices.
Networking is also an excellent opportunity to explore your boundaries. If you are uncomfortable, reflect on what is causing your discomfort. As a recovering people pleaser, sometimes it feels transactional. When I meet new people, I understand what is important to them and what lights them up about their work. It’s vital to understand their end games and notice how you feel. Some people act as if they can eat off your plate just because you shook hands. Others move through crowds or situations without anything sticking to them. They even bring their own water. We discussed energy levels last week. How do you feel after each interaction? What can help you to trust your instincts?
Your mindset plays a critical role as you consider networking this week. You will not enjoy it if you view it as a chore and a grind. What’s the best that can happen? You may meet someone with whom you share common interests. Perhaps you’ll have a productive brainstorming session and solve a problem you didn’t know existed. An offhand comment may be the catalyst for your next big idea. Accept that humans do random things, and sometimes you get lucky. How can you have an open and curious attitude about your co-workers? I challenge you to rethink your assumptions about your colleagues. You can see how your team impacts them once you have spent time in their shoes. Maybe they have a reason to be grumpy. You won’t know what happens until you put yourself out there. Who knows? What if networking gets you within six degrees of your dream appointment?
What do you need to shift to learn to network? Looking back at prior situations, I recognize that what I took for criticism was guidance. Or when I believed I was a total goober, other people thought I was refreshing. Feelings are not facts; with some effort, you can transform challenges into opportunities. I recorded a podcast this week and had several technical difficulties. The amount of rework necessary resulted in me finally looking for editing software, and I increased my skills. If you make a faux pas, laugh it off. It’s unlikely to matter a week from now. I spent all of November doing a challenge to say No every day. At first, it was intimidating, but it became more manageable when I realized I was saying Yes to myself. Embrace your inner penguin or beaver and let the water of embarrassment roll off your back. Are you ready to expand your horizons? I wish you a wonderful week ahead. If this resonates, tell a friend and book a call to explore how I can help you. Namaste