A few weeks ago, I looked at my always-busy calendar to find that my not-so-monthly book club was meeting that night. Like many book clubs, mine has transformed over the years into a short discussion on the half of the book we all might have read, accompanied by appetizers and wine, and of course, catching up on one another’s busy lives.
In this club we’ve discussed school and community issues, kid stuff, health, travel, you name it! We’ve been each other’s cheerleaders, career coaches, and therapists, all the while forming stronger friendships, and learning a thing or two from each other on the way. Even through losing and gaining members here and there, there has always been a core group that has stuck together, whether we finished a book or not.
I’ve found not only great personal connections in this club, but professional ties as well. Having an organized social activity outside of work has been such a great way for me to create a network of professionals I trust, who just happen to be some of my closest friends.
Even your kids’ extracurricular activities can be rich with the opportunity to make valuable connections. Recently, a colleague of mine attended a gymnastics meet for her son. In talking with other parents, she made an awesome work connection that she likely wouldn’t have made elsewhere.
Another friend complained about having to attend a golf tournament, but I encouraged her to go. My friend not only had a great time, but also met a new client for her resume writing business.
The lesson to be found in stories like these is that your social life is more important that you may realize. Jumping in to activities, events, clubs, etc. can foster connections that could lead to your dream job, or just a great new friend. Whatever may come out of it, you’ll likely feel more fulfilled, which in turn can make you a more effective team member at work. It’s a win-win!
So, what do you do outside of work to create new connections? Let’s chat in the comments below!