Recently I was thinking about how important it is to have a great network of colleagues around you.
Sometimes you need a friend. Sometimes you need some inspiration. Sometimes you need a mentor. Sometimes you need an idea. Sometimes you need a job. Sometimes you need a boost. Sometimes you need a kick in the ass. All of these require something very important – your network – a group of people who you can turn to to help with any of these scenarios and millions more.
When I started out in my career in higher education and fundraising – I went to a few conferences and began to meet people that I enjoyed for a variety of reasons – they were funny, smart, great presenters, asked good questions, asked the same question I had, or were quick with a smile. It didn’t really matter how it happened but somehow these people became my network. We gravitated toward each other because we all were doing the same work and wanted to be great at it.
Over time and together we did some great work and began to change and define what stewardship is and how it could/should be done. We learned a lot. We inspired each other and then eventually we became the teachers helping the next generation.
My network has grown and I have been mindful about who is included. It includes people like me but also people totally different from me. Some are older. Some are younger. They are scattered all over the nation and even the world. I have a network of colleagues and friends who are there for me and know I will be there for them too. I included people who are kind, motivating, respectful, challenging, and crazy. Crazy gets things done and pushes me beyond status quo.
So go out and find your network and let them find you. Be bold. Go up to someone at a conference who asked a great question and start a conversation. Tell someone you love their style. Read industry publications and see who is making things happen. Keep in touch with those brilliant people who you once worked with but moved on to other organizations. Sign up for classes or better yet teach a class. Just get out there and find them! Trust me you will be so grateful for them everyday – I know I am!
And to those in my network who may read this …thank you! You have made my life richer by being in it. You helped me reach goals, solve problems, and succeed. I am forever grateful for you.
This wonderful guest post is from Angie Joens from UC Davis and Door Relations Guru group member. She was inspired by a friend's recent job search. What are your thoughts on your network and who in it has helped you? I would love to hear your thoughts.