Networking brings opportunities, collaborations, connections and a business community.
I made The Athena Network my networking home ten+ years ago. I am now a Regional Director, running several Athena Network groups.
And I haven’t looked back.
Over the years, I have built and nurtured a networking community inside The Athena Network.
As a business owner when I first arrived at Athena, referrals, collaborations, relationships, a business community and – yes! – clients followed.
Networking brings trusted connections
I also found women I wanted to work with for both business and personal reasons.
I have worked with travel consultants, stylists, garden designers, interior designers, private client solicitors, counsellors, nutritionists, cake bakers, marketers, web developers, financial advisors…
Amazing women. All of them.
All of these networking results are tangible.
But what about the intangible?
As a networker, you will discover far-reaching & generous support.
This will come from surprising places and, sometimes, this support may even come from women you might never have had any networking contact with.
This is particularly true, now that we are an online network. Relationships are being made and support is being shared and given across regional boundaries & large distances, in new and very different ways.
A recent & true Athena Network story
My 17 year-old daughter, Laura, is coming to the end of sixth form. She wants to do physiotherapy at university. The competition for a university course is tough. If you qualify & if your personal statement makes the grade, there is then a rigorous assessment & interview process to achieve a place on a course.
My daughter researched the profession as part of her interview preparation. However, she also wanted to gain insights into the day-to-day life of a physiotherapist to build on her desktop research.
I put ONE SINGLE POST into The Athena Network group for members only. This shout-out brought back various & differing offers to help, and from women in places I had not even met!
Physiotherapists gave up their time to talk to Laura about their journeys into physiotherapy. They also gave her tips and insights into NHS values, and the values of a physiotherapist. They helped her understand how to highlight & amplify her personal qualities and traits in the interviews.
One Athena member from our Oxford City West group, Jessica Poyant, General Manager (pictured above) of the Cotswold Home in Burford, even set up work experience for Laura to work alongside a physiotherapist at another care home in the group.
Building your bridges before you need them
Networking is about building your bridges before you need them. Nurturing your networking environment & contacts brings back so much more than you might imagine when you first venture into networking.
When you reach out for help, support and guidance, what comes back is generous and warmly given.
As I said at the top of this post, this is what they don’t tell you about the magic of networking.
Thanks so much to the ladies across Athena who supported my daughter in her first steps towards her career goal and aspirations. She has enjoyed getting to know you and your businesses, and we look forward to letting you know how she gets on.
It has meant the world.