In a variety of companies and industries, and in a range of roles involving direct reports, I have been responsible for decisions related to training and career pathing, Over the years, I have also learned the value of maintaining focus on my own professional development.
As you may have experienced, there is a palpable feeling of high stakes in many organizations – you work in an increasingly competitive industry, operating globally and therefore 24/7 (at least in terms of accessibility), and technology is rapidly changing the way you conduct business. Consequently, so much is needed to stay relevant, confident, and authentic amidst the stark realities of change management, process improvement and customer satisfaction against which you are measured.
“Yes, yes you do have to network.” As a Stress Management Coach and Training Director I spend a good deal of time describing to others how important maintaining a web of support is. It reduces stress, builds resiliency and can help you both personally and professionally. So why for so long was my first thought always, “Ugh, do I have to?” Over time I learned to appreciate how networking is wrapped into social and emotional intelligence and how they, in turn, are very important to our overall success. I knew I needed to change my response, mainly the one in my head, and figure out how to step outside my comfort zone.