A few weeks ago I told you about a free webinar I would be participating in developed by Anna Runyan at “Classy Career Girl”. Runyan, the career consultant behind the webinar shared about what she learned from interviewing 27 successful women in business. These women represented a wide variety of industries, and they had some inspiring lessons to offer professional women at earlier career stages
There was a good deal of talk about approaching your career with more confidence and giving yourself credit for what you know. Sound familiar to a certain mantra touted by a certain blogger you know? It was nice to hear that other professional women deal with the same doubts that I sometimes struggle with. It was also incredibly encouraging hear women who are leading major companies say that some of the things they regret most from their younger years were not having confidence to take enough risks and being afraid of making career changes. One wise interviewee even encouraged participants by saying “You know more than you think”, a sentiment I couldn't agree with more.
The thing that inspired me most from the webinar, though, was the concept of women helping women. Runyan shared that reaching out to 27 highly successful women was as far out of her comfort zone as anything she had ever done, but much to her surprise, the women she contacted were willing, nay – happy to help! Maybe I've been watching too much “How I Met Your Mother” lately – but it seems that this illustrates an unwritten version of Barny Stinson's “bro code” for women in business. While I'm sure it's true that some of my professional peers would resort to cutthroat measures to get ahead; I am starting to believe that more often than not, I will find a helping hand in the professional women around me. And so – I am inspired this year to approach networking boldly. I've always been somewhat afraid to put myself out there, but now is the time to face my fears. I'm going to start reaching out to other bloggers and other workforce development professionals. I encourage you to be bold and reach out in networking as well. A great place to start is the Get Ahead Club at The Classy Career Girl site. Membership in this online gathering of professional women gives you access to great career resources like monthly conference calls, action worksheets, and perhaps most importantly, a forum where you can connect with other professional women to ask questions and reach out for accountability on your goals. For me this is just the push I need to kick my career into high-gear. There is a small monthly fee for the club, so if it's not for you – no worries! There are many other ways to expand your networking horizon.
However you decide to approach connecting in your career this year, I hope that you will find help in the solidarity of strong women working to reach new heights. Not knocking the guys – but there's something to be said of the power of women gathered together. We've got our own code now! Let this blog challenge you two-fold. First, reach out boldly to women you admire in your professional world. Second – pay it forward. The next time someone asks you for advice, or networking assistance, offer it. Perhaps even go a step further to find a student or professional woman just starting out who you can support. What goes around comes around!
Image courtesy of [adamr] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net