I recently started a new job after an extended time of underemployment. Next to the first week of middle school, chronic job hunting was the most difficult and awkward period of my life. I was saved by my girlfriends. Thanks to the fantastic networking opportunities I had through them, I got a job lead and recommendation from someone three women removed from the friend who made the first introduction. Networking yields results.
Whether you are looking for work, figuring out which tablet best suits your needs, or looking for the best tennis instructor or discounted baseball tickets, your women friends, old and new, can be your guides. Who better to coach you in your elevator speech, critique your interview presentation, or help you look your best for a performance review? Your women friends can also lead you to your next job, or the person who introduces you to the person who will hire you.
Amy Siskind, founder and president of The New Agenda, (TNA), an organization for empowering women, developing women leaders and teaching young girls about healthy relationships, is excited about women networking and last year led the introduction of the first National Girlfriends Networking Day. Featuring a live stream program by four accomplished women panelists (this year Soledad O'Brien, Lesley Jane Seymour, Ta McWilliams-Franklin, and Joanne Wilson), NGN Day seeks to help women expand their "web of contacts" so that "not only will more women be graduating from college but we will also be moving up in our careers with the help of a stronger network."
On June 4, the day that women got the right to vote (in 1919 by joint resolution Congress approved the women's suffrage amendment and sent it to the states for ratification), you can celebrate that 94 year old victory by networking with women across the country. National Girlfriends Networking Day will feature a live stream feed of a panel of knowledgeable and inspiring women who will talk about their career paths, taking risks, their failures and how to up your chances for success with networking. You can participate, from anywhere you have access to the internet, by watching, tweeting, questions, and sharing. Sure to be the basis of fascinating discussion, the event is designed to be viewed and talked about with friends or co-workers over breakfast on the West Coast, lunch on the East Coast, or cocktails in Western Europe. More than a dozen major corporations are hosting gatherings in their offices from coast to coast.
"Opportunities for women expand when we make an effort to help one another," said Siskind. She recommends these ways to participate in National Girlfriends Networking Day on June 4.
1. Pledge to connect with a mentor, mentee, or peer.
2. Attend or host a virtual event at your local coffee shop, at home, in your work space or in a conference room at work.
3. Engage young and professional women in building and expanding their networks of connections.
4. Spread the word — on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email!
The possibilities are endless. Tweet this and tell your girlfriends! Networking works. I can prove it.