Balancing Work and Industry Events: Being Open with Your Boss

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.”

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Participating in Industry Events: Beware!

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.

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Cultivating Your Visibility in BOTH Your Organization and Industry

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.

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Interacting vs. Participating

Coming next, we’ll take a look at participating purposefully. You may be wondering what the difference is between interacting and participating. In the Raise Your Visibility & Value model, interacting is defined as “one-to-one” interactions with colleagues, while participating is defined as “one-to-many” experiences with colleagues.

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The Importance of Interacting with Your Boss

In today’s ever-evolving organizations, the most important relationship you will have is with your boss. Your boss is accountable for the activities on which you focus. Organization leaders will come to your boss for feedback on your performance. Your boss is the author of your annual performance appraisal. Your success in your organization is dramatically impacted by the impression your boss has of you.

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The Difference Between Interactions and Relationships

It is important to understand the difference between an interaction and a relationship as you work to raise your visibility in your organization and industry. I defined interacting as “the degree to which you engage one-to-one with colleagues.” While interactions are one way to raise your visibility, it is inevitable that some interactions will begin to build a relationship.

Relationship is one of those words that we use often, yet we find it hard to define when asked. Consider the following as a definition for “relationship:”

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The Difference Between Interacting and Networking

There is no doubt that networking is a very important activity. Networking is the primary type of interaction for individuals looking for a job or who are self-employed. By focusing on networking, these individuals build relationships that allow them to make progress in finding their next opportunity, whether that opportunity is a job or a sale.

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