So many people hear the networking word and cringe as it makes them think of putting themselves out in front of people they don’t know. Some people love networking, but many of us get nervous in unknown crowds. I know I do. But after working hard to make myself go to all different networking events and become a member of many groups I now find I get great joy out of networking. This is such an important subject to me that I am writing this second article on finding your community in retirement.
If you retire fully or retire and become an encore entrepreneur you will soon discover that you don’t have that daily people connection that you did when you went to work. Networking becomes a way to make those connections on a personal and business level. As you begin to connect with people from all different industries and walks of life you will be blessed by a world that has opened so wide from your past career. So many of us in our careers only connected with people in the same or closely related fields. Without even realizing it our worlds became very small.
I find such great joy now in meeting people of all different interests and careers. Every time I go to a new networking event I find out about an industry I never knew about, a new hobby idea that is so appealing or a new, to me, not-for-profit that is enriching the world. Invariably I walk away with new connections and often I walk away with new friends. Aside from the benefits of getting the word out about my business I am getting the word out about me to a whole new group of people. In doing so they learn about me and I learn about them. My mind becomes so engaged and my life feels so rich and fulfilled. I also have come to realize that many of the people at the events I go to are as nervous as I am and all it takes is for someone to break the ice.
I highly recommend getting yourself out there and getting to know new people. Promote your business or just promote yourself. You will soon find the joy I do when I get out there and meet new people. It takes practice to get comfortable with networking but the benefits far outweigh the discomforts of those first few meetings!