The Power of NetworkingPosted: October 19, 2011
It’s all about who you know and being in the right place at the right time.
My family and I have spent the last 3 years determining the ideal place for us to move. After much research and deliberation, we decided in 2010 that living in the South Florida area would best meet our professional and personal wants and desires. We started to make routine visits to the area and started pinpointing specific areas that we felt would best meet our needs. Being the HR geek that I am, I immediately started my networking. I joined the local SHRM and WorldatWork affiliates. In November 2010, I attended the SHRM Leadership Conference in Arlington, VA and made it a point to seek out the chapter leaders from the chapters I had joined. I made some good connections during the conference that would lead to life changing circumstances for me.
Flash forward to August of 2011 when I had the pleasure of attending the HR Florida conference in Orlando, FL. Just prior to the conference, one of the people I had met at SHRM Leadership had indirectly connected me with someone who was looking for input for a student networking presentation they were giving at HR Florida. I was happy to give comments for the presentation and offered further assistance, if needed. Well, this person later contacted me and asked if I would mind being a judge for the student networking competition. Of course, I happily accepted. The presentation was great and I learned from the participants. I feel the students had many valuable takeaways to help them become solid HR professionals.
As a volunteer, I was invited to attend a group dinner after the student event. I met the group at a local restaurant and reconnected with those I knew and made my way around to those I did not so I could grow my network. It was great meeting everyone and learning about these new contacts. One of the people I met is a director for a large hospital system in South Florida. After chatting for a few minutes, he shared that there was an opening at one of their facilities in the Upper Keys and gave me some information about the position. That night, I went back to my room and started researching the company and location. I was quite impressed by everything I found and the next day, I sought this person out at the conference and expressed my interest in finding out more about the position. He gave me his card and told me to forward my resume which I did as soon as I could. Before I knew it, I was interviewing for the position. A few weeks later, I was offered the position and have relocated to South Florida. It still has not sunk in!
I just finished my third day in this new position. The company is more than I could wish for and the position is a dream come true – the ideal next step in my career progression. The moral of the story – get out there and network. The ideal time to build and develop your professional network is now. When you need them, they will be there to help. Remember to give more than you ask for and be available to provide support and help to your network. Who knows, you might get a fantastic new opportunity!
Don’t forget to CELEBRATE!