Our new Guest Blogger, Steffi Black, is an Executive and Life Coach with expertise in networking, kindness in the workplace and life-wellness strategies. She is an expert on women’s issues such as returning to the workforce and work-life balance. She is regularly featured on various television networks in Canada.
We are lucky to have her join our cause of helping you find balance while CareerAdvisorDaily help you stay current & employed.
Networking for life
by Steffi Black
Networking – some people hear the word and cringe inside. “Do I have to?” or “I’m not good at it” are often disclosed statements when the word comes up in conversation. Perhaps, it’s time to re-frame what it is and what a positive action it can and should be.
Networking is a necessary element in making progress in your life and career transitions. It’s a pro-active way of increasing your connections and, remember this, helping others increase theirs. If handled correctly, think of it as the business world’s way of ‘paying it forward.’
Connection Corner is a virtual networking group founded 5 years ago to help women in their life and career transitions. Call it networking for life. We are a linkedin group and we host only event a year so people can make face-to-face connections at an annual event. It helps members deepen the connections and reach out more personably.
You see, I believe networking will always need to happen. It’s not about that one time you really need a new job, it’s about making connections for your life and career goals. Living can be bumpy – there is no smooth path – jobs change, mentors leave, ambitions transition and desires grow in different directions. That’s why networking and your own network can be a powerful tool for sorting out the new places you land and the people who will help you land there.
Recently, I spoke to David Wojcik of BizTV on Rogers TV about the different ways women and men network and I hosted our annual Connection Corner networking event at Jingles in Toronto. I am honored to spread the word on the power of making connections for today and for the future. I am also honored that our warm group of women reaches out to help others looking for a new job, a new volunteer opportunity or for help in other areas. We connect each other easily and pro-actively, and that’s a simple but powerful means of helping others.
Simply put, networking for life is a win win for you and others as they move through the different phases of living and working in today’s world. It also makes you feel good when you reach out to help others. According to scientist and author David R. Hamilton, when we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, many people feel that this is because it is the right thing to do and so we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside us that says, “This is who I am.”
On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin, which we know as endogenous opioids. They cause elevated levels of dopamine in the brain, so we get a natural high, often referred to as “Helper’s High.”
So, look at networking in a new light and make it a positive and empowering tool for yourself and for those who come across your path. It’s well worth the effort!
About Steffi Black
Have you ever wanted to make changes in your life, but didn’t know how to go about it? If your answer is yes, you might want to talk to (or you might want to meet) Life/Career Coach Steffi Black. This former media presenter and marketing vice-president is all about being pro-active in life and career. In her own words, “I always planned my next steps in my career planning. You can either be reactive, and let life happen to you, or you can be pro-active. It’s about being in the driver’s seat and who doesn’t want that? I’m a champion for change.’
Black works with executives making changes but loves to specialize in mothers transitioning back to work and young graduates. She also founded Connection Corner, a virtual networking group for women, which has grown to over 100 members. “I founded the group because I knew a small group of women could easily help each other find career and volunteer opportunities in a virtual network as well as in real time. Meetings take place only once a year ,which works well for busy, but caring, people. It’s about paying it forward.”
She is also a big fan of kind acts, and through the information presented on the website”http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/”www.randomactsofkindness.org, Black designed an interactive presentation/workshop for elementary kids where she shares with them why kindness is important. She works with volunteer and fellow mom, Ivy Sims, to ‘spread the kindness’ and hopes to kick off a pilot program for all Ontario schools with a monthly curriculum.
It’s all about living your best life. Black helps people define their core values and life goals and then helps them with the confidence to move towards them. She believes in hands-on empowerment. “I don’t ask for clients to listen to what I suggest, I help them define what they need in order to make change. Then I continually check in for updates and to let them know I am in their corner for any challenges that arrive.” Basically, this energetic ‘champion for change’ believes it’s a ‘true honor’ to help people connect to the momentum they require for making holistic life and work changes.