Since it’s Friday, I thought I’d wrap the week up on a lighter note. And given we’re approaching a long holiday weekend, even better.
Holidays in general get me pretty excited as they do with most people. You’re presented with the gift of an extra day or two of relaxation, enjoying time with friends and family, or doing absolutely nothing. The stress of work expectations and deadlines can hopefully be put aside for just a bit longer while you celebrate with good food and laughter, and recharge your batteries. The idea is that it’s a pause from the madness of a typical week. And who doesn’t want that?
Over the past several months I’ve had the pleasure of attending many local networking and learning events. It’s been a fantastic experience, helping me to immerse myself into the Chicago business, tech, and creative communities after being heads down for far too long. The growth in Chicago has been exciting to see, and the tech and startup world here continues to boom.
These events are a great way to meet new people, connect with potential employers or prospective clients, learn about the latest trends and technologies, and even get inspired on current projects. However, showing up to networking events when you don’t know a sole can be an intimidating process. I’m not a shy person and like to think I can engage in conversation with the best of them. Like many of you, I’ve read numerous books and articles on how to network effectively. Yet I find that many of us still make a few rookie mistakes, or even presumably get so comfortable with a set of people that we forget how many newbies are around who could use our welcoming support.
We all get to a point in our careers where we need a break from the day-to-day. We’re running a hundred miles an hour on one project trying to finish on time, only to be immediately tapped for the next one. Often times we are running several projects at the same time with no break in between to simply catch our breath.
While the work can be exciting and engaging, we get to a point where we’re running on empty if we don’t take necessary steps to recharge so we can bring our A-game to the next project. Sometimes we simply require a day or two off, other times we may need to schedule that long overdue vacation, and every so often it might be something more.
I loved working in my last position. I was lucky enough to work with incredibly smart people from all over the world. My boss was fantastic and my colleagues were wonderful. We had great fun as we explored new territory. If we were exhausted or frustrated, we commiserated and bounced back together as a team. Creativity flowed along with great humor. For me, however, I did finally reach a point where I knew it was time to move forward. But first I needed to take a pause – to rejuvenate and reenergize before eventually try something different in a new environment.
As a corporate communications and public relations (PR) professional, I have spent a significant portion of my career telling the stories of an organization, its people, and the clients they serve. I have explored the most optimal ways to package, share, and repurpose these stories in order to educate, innovate, and bring broad visibility. I have become fairly tech-savvy along the way as I’ve learned about and leveraged the many platforms, applications, and tools available to make the most of the content sharing process.
With a good many years experience under my belt, I now want to share my own stories and the many things I’ve learned along the way, and hear from all of you about what you’ve experienced. As a life-long learner, I want to continue growing my knowledge and experiences – writing about our interests can be a great method to force us out of our comfort zones and hold us accountable to more holistically explore a topic.
“In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” — Coco Chanel