You need to make sure that you have your boss’s buy in on your spending time attending industry events, otherwise her lack of support can be a significant hurdle. There are several things you can do to help make sure that her mindset is only a hurdle, rather than a total roadblock.
Balancing work and industry events
Balancing work and industry events in your busy organization is not easy. Engaging with industry associations can become harder if your boss doesn’t support the concept. Your boss may feel that industry association meetings are just social or networking events “dressed-up” to look like a work-related event. Your boss may believe that engaging with your industry is not a productive use of time, or she may think that any industry-related activities should be done “off-the-clock.”
What If My Boss Thinks I’m Looking for a Job?
When you work to raise your visibility in your industry, many of you may feel you’re at risk of creating an impression with your boss that you’re looking for a new job opportunity. Many industry events are advertised as networking events where you meet colleagues from within your industry. Your boss may feel that you’ll meet a new colleague who will lure you away to a new opportunity with promises of wealth and fame.
Your professional success rests with the degree to which you raise your visibility in your organization AND your industry.
You could spend all of your time being visible within your organization at the expense of industry visibility. However, when you’re only visible in your organization, you miss opportunities for professional development and opportunities to build richer relationships with industry colleagues.
Your desire to attend meetings and events with industry associations probably feels like a dream. The ability to attend during your workday, after your workday ends, or on the weekend is likely compromised in the following ways:
The ways in which you can participate one-to-many are endless
In the Raise Your Visibility & Value model, it is assumed that there are an infinite number of ways to participate with a purpose. Of them, networking is just one. Recall that networking is the number one activity on which individuals looking for a job and individuals focused on business development should focus.
Recognize When a Limiting Belief is Occurring
Nail-biting is widely known as a behavior in which many participate unconsciously. This is especially challenging if you are attempting to stop biting your nails. While you aspire to stop this habit, you often find yourself biting your nails without consciously choosing to do so. Perhaps you’re watching a movie or reading a book when you suddenly catch yourself biting your nails. Suddenly, you whip your hand away from your mouth while silently cursing yourself. The first step is not to stop biting your nails – the first step is to recognize when it’s about to happen. This way, you can consciously choose what to do next.
As my tenure as a coach grows, and as I meet an increasing number of client prospects, I have noticed recurring themes among individuals who do not think about working with a coach, or who do not want a coach, which I have recapped below.
When it comes to introducing yourself to colleagues you don’t know, do you avoid introducing yourself at all costs? Perhaps you are highly uncomfortable or severely under-skilled. Much like getting a flu shot, you want your introduction to be quick and painless. In fact, you wouldn’t introduce yourself to others at all if you could avoid doing so. Do any of the following “Avoider” characteristics seem familiar to you when you think about introducing yourself to others?
Your time is precious. Your days are already packed with meetings, conference calls, overdue deliverables, and unanticipated interruptions. Working to raise your visibility in your organization and industry requires that you focus your precious time on specific activities and behaviors that help you produce results. Anyone can engage in a bevy of activities that keep them busy, yet you cannot afford that luxury. The investment of time and energy you make in your efforts to raise your visibility must be productive. What is the difference between keeping busy and being productive?