Work friends – everyone has them. Whether they are in your office or at another firm you work closely with, these connections are central to your sanity, work flow, and even future projects and ventures. Think about that one person you work with that just gets it. Regardless of whether they are your best friend, your acquaintance, or something in between, this relationship is yours and cannot be replaced or recreated by someone else. Now think about what you would do without them? Maybe you wouldn’t be as productive at work because they are not there to balance the work load. Or maybe you would just be hostile all the time because you can’t come and tell them how the guy next door is wearing short-shorts again. Whatever the situation, odds are you would be at some sort of a loss without your work friend. But how are you nurturing and developing your professional relationships?
Connections and associations in a business setting take time to build and maintain, arguably even more time than in your personal life. No matter what level of friendship you have or are pursuing, all relationships take various amounts of time and dedication to nurture and develop. Some might say that keeping a friend is effortless and just comes naturally, when really it is just more enjoyable “work” than, say, figuring out what the new FCC ruling means for your company.
Communication is absolutely what makes and drives a relationship. The great thing about working in this day and age is that correspondence has actually become easier. There are more outlets to communicate with. You can text, email, snail mail, video chat, voicemail, tweet, and so much more outside of actual face time with someone. The downside about current conversation methods is that a lot of your non-personal contact can be translated in different ways, taken out of context, and can limit your actual face time with someone. Although texting or emailing might make things easier and quicker, nothing quite compares to physically meeting with someone.
Working within the ARM industry often adds an additional level of difficulty in organizing face time with friends, as business connections are often spread all over, operating in different cities, states, and time zones. Capitalizing on large industry events and conferences seems to be a great way to learn what is happening in the industry, gain new takeaways for your business, and stay connected with your peers. Sometimes these events allow you the opportunity to meet someone you have known through email for years for the first time in person. Looking at tradeshows for more than just the learning value or accreditation points you might receive allows you to see these events as opportunities to network and develop relationships with colleagues.
Truly connecting with peers, friends, acquaintances, or even frenemies takes time, dedication, and most importantly communication. Reaching out to your connections on a consistent basis effectively nurtures and develops your friendship. Strive to meet your peers in person by taking advantage of industry conferences and meetings. Because isn’t working with friends better than simply having to “deal” with people?
Need help locating the next event that makes sense for you? Check out insideARM’s Events Page. We post industry-wide in-person events as well as educational webinars & virtual events.