2015 has passed and in its wake a new year, 2016, has arrived. If you’re reading this article then I’m assuming you have decided to either start in your pursuit of professional development or are beginning where you have left off last year. Whether you are a novice or experienced professional, this article will share information to help in your future success – no matter where you are at in your career.
The Importance of Focusing on Your Highest Priorities
As you know, time is money. That’s why “spending” and “wasting” are common ways to express what we do with these valuable commodities. So, it is important to be careful when planning your time.
“7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and creator of the workshop “Focus – Achieving Your Highest Priorities”. He suggests to deliberately think of your highest goal, priority or value in order to be more effective in your daily time-management.
Additionally, he advises to spend 20-30 minutes per week to determine the most important goals and tasks for the coming week. Another 10 minutes should be spent every morning with the same goal in mind to cut down on low-priority tasks.
This is a highly focused approach which will help you detect the most important tasks on your to-do list. You can consciously choose what will help you achieve your goals while identifying what will not.
This key concept will make it easier to plan your day and week. If you only commit to things which help you achieve your goals, you will free up more time. You can spend this extra time on building important relationships or further investing in your goals.
The Importance of Networking
You have probably heard the statistics before. Most employed people found their job through networking. About 41 percent of people who work made use of their contacts in order to be hired. Only 25 percent used online Job Boards to land that gig.
Networking is important. It is an effective way to achieve your career goals. It enables you to connect with your target industry, learn tricks of the trade from like-minded people and provides you with a list of contacts. These contacts will become helpful when you are looking for partners to start a joint venture or help when you need professional advice.
Always operating on the principle of ‘paying it forward’, you also need to be open and willing to help and mentor others.
There are many great guides networking that will help you. They will help you hone your networking skills so you can turn contacts into lasting connections.
For a helpful guide and a book list, check out Top 10 Networking Books for Your Career Success.
Looking to Connect but Don’t Know Where to Start?
If you live in Hamilton, organizations like Hamilton Hive, Innovation Factory or CoMotion on King have planned a series of professional development events (where you can network as well) for the month of January. See list below.
January 19, 2016 – SURGE Startup Connection
January 20, 2016 – Startup Career Fair
January 26, 2016 – Lunch’n Learn: How to Become Fearlessly Creative
CoMotion On King
January 20, 2016 – Coworking: Why It Works for Hamilton Businesses and How It Can Work for You
January 21, 2016 – Hacking Health Hamilton Cafe
January 20, 2016 – Startup Career Fair
January 28, 2016 – Plug IN: Media Mixer
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
January 21, 2016 – Innovation & Technology Committee Meeting
January 28, 2016 – Connections
January 28, 2016 – YEP Division Meeting
January 28, 2016 – Business After Business at McMaster Centre for Continuing Ed
If you are ready to bring in new business today (and you are an early riser), visit the BNI Executive Referrals meeting, every Tuesday @ 7am at William’s Fresh Cafe, 47 Discovery Drive, Hamilton, ON. This is a professional group dedicated to passing qualified referrals between fellow entrepreneurs. For more details about BNI Executive Referrals, click here.
Networking – A Success Story
Our president, Kyle Kuchmey, can’t stress the importance of networking enough. He says: “ I can honestly say that 100% of my clients and talent pool can be attributed to networking, either in-person or online through social media and our company’s web presence.”
A great tip to keep in mind when networking, he thinks, is to “find a balance between professionalism and sharing your individual personality and motives. Being professional helps people to trust and rely on you. Expressing who you really are leads to stronger, more meaningful connections.”
His three primary networks in Hamilton include BNI Executive Referrals, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the McMaster Alumni Association.