Last night I spoke at The Connected Woman’s monthly Mix and Mingle, and met a great group of women in a diverse range of industries, with a wide palette of experiences and enthusiasms. The focus that Cathy Kuzel (of Connected Woman) keeps within the group is on the idea of making real connections, not just gathering business cards, which is something I strongly believe in.
In a smaller group such as this, there is the opportunity to learn more about what each person does, who they are beyond that, and what it is that they might be looking for. While my talk concentrated on using business writing skills to get your foot in the door, the advice and discussion from the group added different layers of information and input.
One of the woman at the group was Emma Cooper, of Clarity Jane Personal Organizers, who also volunteers for Dress for Success. DFS is a wonderful organisation that runs worldwide and is a “non-profit … dedicated to improving the lives of women located in 85 cities across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., the Netherlands and New Zealand. The professional clothing, employment retention programs and ongoing support that we provide our clients symbolize our faith in every woman’s ability to be self-sufficient and successful in her career.” (From: Dress for Success website)
DFS is putting on a great event, the Impact Event for Change, at Birks Jewellers in Vancouver on April 20th. There will be fantastic speakers, including women that have been through the DFS program, free wine, silent auctions and more. You can check out the Vancouver location website for more information and to book tickets.
One of the things that I tried to emphasize in the talk was ensuring that you have a purpose when communicating, and that you aren’t afraid to ask for what it is that you want. Emma was very clear that she was there to promote the DFS event, and therefore it was easy to help! A reminder that we shouldn’t be afraid to go for what we want, or to ask for help when we need it, instead of pretending everything is fine.
So not only should you create business messages with proper planning, purpose and intent, but it is really useful to employ the same skills while networking, to achieve your goals and make real connections.