Introduction from Alana:
As a business owner and blogger, there is nothing more gratifying than receiving comments, ideas and suggestions from clients and readers. I love hearing the diversity of thought and opinion, to be challenged on various concepts and to hear fresh perspectives from people around the world. So, it is with great honor that I introduce you to Sue Maden, one such engaged members of the CLC community.
Sue is Education & Training Manager for Burns & McDonnell. She oversees Burns & McDonnell University, providing professional growth and development to move employees’ careers forward. In this role, Sue creates resources for instructors to improve the course development process, simplifies access to learning for employees and looks for ways to increase benefits of collaboration and informal learning at Burns & McDonnell.
With that, I give you Sue Maden…
Guest post from Sue Maden:
When you think back to the first few years of your career, what do you remember? Did you feel confident and connected or did you engage in a bit of “fake it till you make it” thinking? For me, it was definitely the latter. I mainly stayed within my small circle of colleagues, building relationships and building my career. But that only took me so far. At some point I learned that to enhance my career, I needed to get out there – outside my circle and outside my comfort zone.
And now that I’ve been doing what I do for 20+ (yikes!) years, I’ve built up a network of trusted peers both inside and outside my organization. Which is great, but what about those around me? What about those coming up that career path after me?
I believe that those of us who are further down that career path have a responsibly to bring others up with us, helping to create opportunities for them. And a very simple way you can do that is to invite someone to come to a professional society meeting or networking event with you. And then help them take advantage of that opportunity.
Here are my top 3 tips for bringing others along:
- Give them intel – Prepare them in advance by telling them what you get out of the group. Perhaps tell them about 2 or 3 people who you know in the group that they may share a skill, experience or interest with.
- Help them prep – If you know the person is new to this type of experience, suggest they practice introducing themselves to you, and give them pointers. Share your elevator speech with them and help them prepare their own.
- Suggest they get active – Most professional societies or other groups are volunteer organizations and could always use a hand. Suggest this person join a committee to learn more about the industry, get to know people, and practice leadership skills.
Once you’ve done your part, step back. Don’t volunteer them for something yourself. And if they don’t seem interested or don’t share your enthusiasm for the group, back off. This might not be the right fit for them and their career interests. Then look around and see who else is coming down the path that you can invite the next time round.
What’s been your experience in bringing others along? What practices do you have for getting others connected? Please take a moment to leave a comment at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com.