Transcript: Episode 195 – How to Handle HR Burnout and Empathy Fatigue (with Liesel Mertes)
May 20, 2024
Show Notes: Episode 196 – How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges
June 3, 2024

JoyPowered® Networking – Make It Happen.

In Chapter 3 of our most recent book, JoyPowered® Networking, we talk about making networking happen vs. waiting for networking to happen to us. That is, we might be waiting for a promotion, a new role, an invitation, a wedding, a new baby, and more! Our lives can be spent waiting and not doing. This especially happens when there is an activity or action that we are not comfortable with or may even fear. In reality, we are procrastinating, but when we have (or make up) a reason (umm, excuse), it sounds so much better, right?

Making it Happen Can Come Naturally

I have always been a joiner and a doer. Even going back to elementary and middle school, I loved to be around others. I liked to organize games or sleepovers and inviting friends over to play, so it became natural for me to continue to do the same in high school and college. Upon graduation, the accounting club became the IN CPA Society; my sorority led to events, outings, and travels with colleagues; and my cheerleading and dance team days turned to season tickets and pre-game dinners. For my co-author, Christine Burrows, she expresses the same sentiment in her own way – book clubs, neighbors, church, and tennis.

Since I started my career in public accounting, I was also encouraged – and well-supported – to become involved in the community and to serve as a leader on boards or in organizations. To this day, many people ask me “how do you get involved in or elected to a board?” You won’t be surprised, but I joined my first board because I was interested in someone who was on it. I just called him up and said I was interested in serving. He put me up for nomination, I was elected, and I doubt there has been a period since then (38 years) that I have NOT served on a board of some organization. That’s not exactly a recommendation (although, I do recommend going after what you want), because I really didn’t know that much about the organization or their needs and how I might be able to best serve. I ended up not really having a passion for the organization, so I fizzled out after about 18 months. I learned a lesson, though, about understanding more specifically where I wanted to serve and what activities I was most passionate about.

Waiting vs. Doing

But for many – maybe you? – this is most certainly NOT the case. You might be waiting for an invitation instead of sending one yourself, or hoping someone will make a call to you versus you calling them, or waiting for someone to notice your skills and talents and reach out to you to join or serve. I encourage you to reflect on how you might make this happen instead of waiting.

  • Who do you know?
  • What group or mission are you interested in?
  • Do you have someone who might mentor, coach, or assist you in these endeavors?

It’s ok – and really encouraged – to start small. Attend an event as a guest, invite someone else to do it with you, or try volunteering for a day instead of jumping on a board right away.

Take the JoyPowered® Networking Assessment here. It’s free, and it will provide you some insight into your networking style along with some tips to move forward.

Network by Asking, “Why Not?”

As you can tell, my strategy moved towards service and volunteering. That is only one way to network. I’ve been thinking about this recently as I just joined a new board. I read an internal newsletter of a professional organization. The group posted a need for a volunteer leader. I thought, why not? A board member followed up immediately after I volunteered, and next thing I know, I’m not only in charge of their special events and learning summit, but I also have a seat on the board. I’m probably a bit too spontaneous, but I also feel that if I’m going to join a group, I might as well go all in.

By the way, I think we are waiting versus doing not just about networking, but in many other areas of our lives. One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Suess in his book, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting. Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for the wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake, or a pot to boil, or a Better Break, or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants, or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting.”

What are you waiting for? Make it happen today.

JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis
JoDee Curtis, SHRM-SCP, CPA, is the author of four books in the JoyPowered® series, co-host of The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, and Founder of Purple Ink and the ink pad. JoDee has a passion for helping organizations and individuals discover their talents and do more or what they do well!

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