Being a parent and a career minded individual is an incredibly empowering experience but, if you’re like me, it can be a challenge to find time to balance work and family. One area that can be pretty tricky to balance is making new connections for your business and career and still finding plenty of time to be with the family. Most networking events happen during happy hours or at times most people find convenient outside of work hours, which is time that you like to spend with your family. But you know you need to make these connections in order to get new business or advance your career, so what do you do?
As with everything else, it’s all about finding balance and I have a few suggestions that might help take the stress out of networking.
Option #1: Set aside one night a week for networking
Ask your partner to take over parent duties for a night or hire a babysitter to watch your children and take several hours one night a week to meet new people in your industry. Even one night a month will make a big difference if you're consistent!
Option #2: Combine networking and family
Here’s a crazy idea: take your kids with you to a networking event! Now, of course, these wouldn’t be happy hours, they would be family friendly events where children can be entertained while the parents talk business. There are many working parents in any given city and they would all appreciate the ability to meet others just like them without having to sacrifice their children’s’ playtime. If you can’t find a group like this in your area, be proactive and start one!
Option #3: Attend networking breakfasts
So you can’t go to evening networking sessions. That shouldn’t stop you. There are plenty of networking groups that meet over coffee or breakfast and get just as many connections that way. When you chose to network in the morning, you’ll be able to spend more time with your family and you get a healthy breakfast on top of everything else!
Option #4: Network online!
With so many amazing options for networking on sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and many others, there’s no excuse NOT to find a few minutes each day to connect with potential clients, partners and more!
The way to get ahead in this life and be genuinely happy and productive is to start at the beginning and know your true self. I could offer plenty of great advice, but unless you truly understand who you are, your strengths and your weaknesses, and are willing to make a change, then the success you might find from any bit of advice I could give would be short lived.
I encourage you to Take the Keller Influence Indicator®(or KII®, pronounced “kay-two”). This is the first influence assessment designed to help you understand the exact influence traits it takes in order to create the change you want to see. You'll learn which of these influence traits are already working hard for you, and which ones need work.
"The FIRST requirement for being an influential person is knowing yourself." ~ Dr. Karen Keller