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The PWCC Blog provides a platform for our community to interact online so that we may deepen our connection with one another outside of meetings. Promoting PWCC’s mission to create a strong, vibrant network for professional women, the blog also offers individual members a unique opportunity for self-expression. Topics may range from advice on careers, financial matters, and work/life balance to personal observations or even humorous vignettes. Whatever the subject, we hope that all of our members will take advantage of this chance to support, inspire, and enrich the careers and lives of each other. If you’d like to write for the blog, submit your blog to admin@pwcc.org for review. All submissions are reviewed prior to posting. Information is posted regularly by the PWCC blog team, so check back often!

 

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Busy Woman’s Tips–Simple Ways to Start A Healthy Life

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Busy Woman’s Tips–Simple Ways to Start A Healthy Life

 

Sometime the thought of starting a new routine or making lifestyle changes to “get healthy” can be intimidating or overwhelming.  While major overhauls may be needed for some of us, it is possible to see results by making minor changes.  And, the fall season is often thought of as the best time of year to initiate a healthy change because it’s well in advance of the holidays and provides a few weeks to have the changes become part of the routine.

 

Regular Exercise: 30 minutes of regular exercise can lower your risk for heart disease and reduce stress.  Park your car farther away. Walk around the office more. Get off the bus one stop early.

 

Eat Well, Live Well:  The food you put in your body has a direct link to your health.  Fill up on fruits and vegetables.  Take your vitamins.  Limit red meat.

 

Check Your Vitamin D Levels: Try to take the sun in small doses during lunch or take a Vitamin D supplement.  Foods that can provide vitamin D include salmon, milk, fortified cereal, orange juice and eggs.

 

Limit Alcohol:  Limit alcohol to one drink per day or eliminate it entirely.

 

Contributed by Sheryl Dineen, Marketing & BD Specialist at IceMiller Legal Counsel.

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

 

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Member Spotlight:Viki Ryan of Viki Ryan Wellness Coaching, LLC

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Member Spotlight:Viki Ryan of Viki Ryan Wellness Coaching, LLC

 

Viki Ryan’s life-long love affair with staying fit, healthy, and mindful manifested itself early. As an athlete, she played tennis and squash competitively.  As an instructor, she taught both tennis and aerobics.  Now she is a senior yoga fitness specialist and health coach serving her private practice clients. 

 

Viki works with adults who are searching to live a healthier life, to find meaning and purpose, and to have more energy and focus.  In other words, to have congruence in mind, body, and spirit.  She is finding that her clients’ needs are much deeper than physical training and health coaching. Many of them lead stressful lives and understand they want to thrive and live a more wonderful life, they just don’t know how to get there, and a one-hour session in the gym offers little time for impactful behavioral change.

 

So Viki is currently in a transition to expand her role as a physical fitness coach to a wellness coach.  She is pursuing intensive Wellcoaches training and certification, a leading program in coaching, healthcare, and wellness.  Wellness coaching includes a sense of well-being and having a positive quality of life.  Wellness encompasses a wide range of factors to help people maintain emotional, intellectual, social, environmental, physical, and spiritual well-being.  Viki believes that wellness coaching allows her to act as facilitator with her clients to achieve more clarity, choose a focus, build a plan, and take the journey that leads to lasting change.

 

Her mission is to inspire and facilitate the process of change and partner with clients to improve their health and optimize their well-being in a way that lasts. She believes that her new focus as a wellness coach enables her business to be congruent with her belief that “in order to move forward we must be willing to do the work from the inside out to make lasting change successful and meaningful.”  Following her certification, she plans on developing workshops and wellness seminars with allied partners.

 

Viki values her association with the PWCC and looks forward to attending more of the upcoming luncheons and networking events. 

 

Canadian by birth, Viki enjoys dual US citizenship.  She is a world traveler and a culture buff.  She has lived in Derbyshire, England; Paris, France; several cities in Ontario, Canada; Wisconsin;as well as Naperville, Decatur, and Chicago, Illinois.  Outside of fitness and wellness coaching, Viki enjoys spending time with her husband of 32 years and two adult daughters, all of whom have chosen careers that enrich people’s quality of life.  In addition to meeting new people, she also loves clean and healthy cooking, practicing meditation, yoga, and functional fitness.

 

Viki identifies with Newton’s first law of motion, which states that “A body in motion tends to stay in motion, a body at rest tends to stay at rest” and suggests we keep moving!  The next time you see Viki at a PWCC event, be sure to tell her how you keep yourself moving.

 

Written by Elaine Mikesell, Ph.D., WSI Digital Marketing Consultant

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership
 and upcoming activities

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Beyond the Obvious: Traits of a Professional?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Beyond the Obvious: Traits of a Professional?

For some professions – the legal, accounting, and medical fields come to mind – there are credentialing requirements to practice.  For other professions, there are education requirements.

 

But does meeting these requirements necessarily make one a professional? For many, the requirements of professionalism go beyond those of credentials or education to include meeting more personal displays of character. The following represents aspects of personal conduct that advance our professionalism:

  • A professional communicates clearly, concisely, thoroughly, and accurately. All communications is intended to convey information that is meaningful rather than to impress.

  • A professional appreciates and supports people with whom she works and is always honest and fair when interacting with others.

  • A professional always delivers on promises made and meets or exceeds expectations, whenever possible.

  • A professional respects and acknowledges the talents and contributions of her peers.

  • A professional commits to being competent, displaying integrity, and promoting the public good within her area of expertise.

By adding these personal codes of ethics to our education and credentials, we can move closer to being recognized as a professional!


What does your vision of a professional look like?  Join in on the conversation!


Submitted by:



Carol Jambor-Smith, Ph.D.
Principal
Jambor-Smith Communications
cjs1407.cjs@gmail.com


Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about 
membership and upcoming activities

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A Therapist’s Response to Alpana Singh

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 3, 2016

Last week I attended the inaugural luncheon for the PWCC 2016-17 season. I’d signed up immediately after learning the speaker would be Alpana Singh. To me she represented a strong, successful business woman who’d carved out a brilliant and enviable niche for herself in the “eat or be eaten” food and wine industry. I knew she would exude confidence and hoped that some of that might rub off on me, propelling me forward professionally and personally, as speakers at PWCC luncheons tend to do.

What a surprise to find that this woman, who could have spoken about her skyrocketing success as a sommelier, T.V. personality and restaurateur,  chose to talk about her intimate struggle with isolation, depression,  envy and the belief that she was not “good enough.”  How honest is that? Who allows themselves to be so vulnerable in front of a room full of talented, entrepreneurial women, many whom have learned to hide the very feelings that she was speaking about?

Alpana knows us, she is us, and for this reason she decided to give herself to the women in the room. She encouraged each of us not to present as an image of ourselves, a hologram of our “would be” successful selves, but as we are, clear about our intensions and the choices we make and unapologetic about what we need and want.

As a Clinical Psychologist in private practice, I was blown away by Alpana’s words. Not only did she affirm what I consider to be the most valuable aspect of therapy, finding one’s voice and expressing it authentically, but she modeled this practice in her presentation, by showing us who she really is, not leaving us with the feeling that we do not measure up to her. “I am a Ferrari,” she stated. Nothing less.  She gave us tips and encouraged us to maintain and care for ourselves as Ferrari’s, too.

During the question/answer session, a woman in the audience got up and asked, “Can I come with you?” after the speaker explained that she would be taking a vacation by herself later this fall. I imagine every woman in the room felt the same way. Can I come with you? Can we be friends? I like you not because of your privilege or title or glamour, but because I feel like I know you and you would make a good friend.  In a world where we are used to pitting ourselves against each other, comparing ourselves to someone who in our own mind who does it better, I found her voice refreshing and true. Thank you, Alpana!

Caroline Steelberg, PSY.D, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. For the first ten years of her career she worked in the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. During this time Caroline began a private practice which she’s had for over 20 years, treating straight and GLBT adults and couples. Caroline’s website is www.carolinesteelberg.com

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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Busy Woman’s Tips – Meaningful Mentoring

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Busy Woman’s Tips – Meaningful Mentoring

 

We’ve heard a lot about mentoring recently.  Our speaker at the September luncheon, Alpana Singh, shared that she experienced a tremendous sense of personal growth as a mentor.  She encouraged us to consider being a mentor at least once in our lives because every one of us has something to give a mentee.  More importantly, Alpana continued, mentoring has the potential to furnish the mentor with unexpected benefits as well.This is great news to the over 50 participants in PWCC’s mentorship program which kicks off inOctober. 

 

Whether you are a seasoned mentor or are just starting out, consider some of these tipsto help drive a positive experience.

 

  1. Do your own homework first.  Before the first meeting with your mentee, visualize what kind of mentor you want to be.  How can you give the most to your mentee?  How well do you know your own style of leadership?  Communication?  Do you have limitations or boundaries that need to be set?

  2. Be clear about expectations.  This is a two-way street.  Both you and your mentee have expectations about this experience.  Communicate yours, but be sure you have asked your mentee about hers and then taken them into account.  How often will you meet?  What do each of you want to gain from the experience?  What does success look like?

  3. Be honest.  It can be hard for leaders to be vulnerable or to seem less than perfect, but successful leaders are honest about their failures or flaws and how they’ve learned from them.  Sharing these experiences with your mentee can be extremely valuable.  In addition to being honest about yourself, also be honest with your mentee.  When your mentee is looking for feedback, give it constructively.

  4. Celebrate successes.  Everyone likes a pat on their head now and then, particularly when it’s well deserved.  If your mentee has worked through a difficult situation or mastered a new skill, make sure you acknowledge it.  If the milestone was particularly significant for your mentee, find an appropriate way to celebrate the success.

  5. Be a role model. No one expects perfection from mentors, but make sure you can talk the talk and walk the walk.  Recognize that your mentee is probably always watching you for cues; they are looking to you as a role model.  While you are in a mentor/mentee relationship, pay particular attention to your own actions and understand that you need to lead by example.

 

Do you have more tips for mentors?  Have you been a mentee and hope for more from your mentor?  Or, what made your mentor-mentee relationship a success?  Please share!  We’d love to hear from you.

 

Contributed by Annika Mitchell, Attorney at Mitchell Law Firm, who participated in Pub Management Skills, hosted by Guinness Brewing Worldwide in Dublin.  After a week-long training program, Annika is certified by Guinness to pour a perfect pint.

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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Busy Woman’s Tips–Exploring the Culinary World

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Busy Woman’s Tips–Exploring the Culinary World

 

Chicago has long been known as a great place to visit, but only recently has it become a destination for foodies.  In fact, Chicago enjoys over 40 Beard Award-winning chefs and restaurants, second only to New York City. And, the James Beard Awards gala, the Oscars of the food world, was held in Chicago in 2015, 2016, and will return again in 2017.

 

With all of this focus on food and fine dining, are you feeling a little left out?  Are you stuck in a rut of take-out pizza and sushi and want to explore more of your kitchen?  Have you always been fascinated by the knife skills of the chefs you see on TV?  Well, Chicago’s culinary scene can help!  There are countless classes available, for all levels, budgets, and interests.  So, whether you are looking to dive into a particular culture, sharpen a certain skill, learn some time-saving tips, or schedule some fun “me” time, check out the following options.

 

Culinary Boot Camp

 

The Chopping Block has a week-long class that offers a taste of a professional culinary program.  Various skills and fundamentals are explored and at the end of the five days, you’ll produce a menu that reflects all that you’ve learned.  Awarded the Best Cooking Class by Chicago Magazine in 2015.  The Chopping Block also offers various a la carte sessions from the Boot Camp, so you can pick and choose the courses that interest you most.

 

http://www.thechoppingblock.com/boot-camps

 

Making Beer at Home

 

Want to get in on the brewing phenomenon?  Try an introductory class at Brew Camp.  They supply all equipment and ingredients and demonstrate techniques for brewing at home.

 

https://brewcamp.com/s/events/all

 

Guided Wine Tasting:  Italian Wine 101

 

Who doesn’t love a good vino?  Learn more about Italian wines at a 101 course at Chicago’s Eataly, where you can eat, shop, and learn about Italian food and beverages.  Attendees will sample a red, a white, and a sparkling, each paired with antipasti.

 

Eataly also offers a host of other Italian-themed courses, including culture, travel, and language.

 

https://www.eataly.com/us_en/classes-and-events/chicago

 

Contributed by Annika Mitchell, Attorney at Mitchell Law Firm, who participated in Pub Management Skills, hosted by Guinness Brewing Worldwide in Dublin.  After a week-long training program, Annika is certified by Guinness to pour a perfect pint.

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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What the PWCC Board Did Over Its Summer Vacation

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Your Board of Directors met this summer for a board retreat to discuss and formulate our vision for the club.  We discussed our strengths as well as areas for improvement.  We also outlined our commitment to the club. 

Following the retreat, we kicked off our first board meeting of the season with each committee’s goals for the year.  This is going to be an incredible year!  We are thrilled that you’ll be a part of it!

 

In addition to our Board responsibilities, take a look what else we did this summer!

 

Be sure to introduce yourself at luncheons and other events.  (Board Members wear ribbons on their nametags.)We’d love to meet you and hear about your summer!

 

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is comprised of PWCC’s Officers: President, President Elect, Immediate Past President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The President, President Elect, Immediate Past President all serve a term of one year in their roles. The Secretary and Treasurer may serve longer terms.
 
Holly Kleiman, President: I sent my 8-year old to sleep away camp for the first time for an entire week which was hard on me to let her go.  When I returned to pick her up, she cried because she didn’t want to leave!  This warmed my heart.
 
Anita Mettille, President Elect: Chicago is the best city for summertime "stay-cations."  Every weekend presented several neighborhood festivals, live music and touristy activities to select from.
 
Heather Bailey, Immediate Past President: Celebrated a friend's wedding in Montego Bay, Jamaica!
 
Katy Toth, Secretary:  Enjoyed horseback riding with my family in Arizona's Saguaro National Park - incredibly beautiful (and very hot!).
 
Katie Nestlerode, Treasurer:  I traveled to New Zealand for 10 days of hiking, relaxing and taking in the beautiful scenery.
 
Committee Chairs

In addition to the Executive Committee, the Committee Chairs also serve on the board. PWCC has seven committees, each focused on supporting the Club in a specific area.
 
Ellyn Caruso, Communications/Media Relations: found a delightful walking partner this summer - my dad, who is 82!  We took daily walks, which were beneficial for both of us.
 
Annika Mitchell, Communications/Media Relations: I was elected to the board of the charitable organization at my kids’ school and I sewed three dresses. Planning to wear one to a luncheon!
 
Dodie Culkin, Community Alliance: I had a great summer with lots of family outings starting with a week in Naples, FL, then weddings downstate and ending with four of my sisters visiting for “sister time” in Chicago.
 
Barbara Yong, Community Alliance: Swam right past a 6-foot shark while scuba diving in Grand Cayman.  
 
Amy Cramer, Hospitality: I visited the English countryside and celebrated my mom's 75th and sister's 50th!
 
Junilla Sledziewski, Hospitality: I spent a week in the south of France at French cooking school with my mom, and then a week in the Italian Riviera with my hubby. Epic!
 
Elizabeth Buffardi, Membership: I went to Italy for two weeks.  Cristo is the artist who did The Gates in NY in 2005.  This year he floated piers in Lake Iseo in Italy so that you could walk out to the two islands in the middle of the lake.  It was an amazing experience.  
 
Sheri Kamikow, Membership: I have been mentoring other women with Metastatic Breast Cancer which has been very rewarding. Through Imermans Angels.
 
Becca Berkenstadt, Membership: This summer I worked with Google to create a video for Worldly Strategies. https://youtu.be/hUxEgbk93bI
 
Debbie Hopkins, Programs: Spent time with my kids who were home from college.
 
Debra Melvin, Programs: I started a newsletter. Divorce Digest: Financial insights for divorced women, or women facing divorce.
 
Ashlee Benes Ubben, Special Events: I went to Colorado and got to drive through the mountains for the first time ever! A leisurely drive from Golden to Estes Park and it was absolutely stunning!
 
Jill Webb, Special Events: My husband and I took our 7-year old on an old school driving and camping vacation to Yellowstone National Park in celebration of the National Parks 100th anniversary. Amazing 12 days of quality family time.
 
Cécile Pochet Bernard, Sponsorship: I trained for and crushed Chicago triathlon! YEAH!
2:45 to do it.
 
PWCC’s Administrative Office

To assist our club with its administrative responsibilities, such as event management, communication to our members, and facilitating our monthly board meetings, PWCC works with Gidley Management Group. You’ll see Debbie Gidley and her team at every luncheon.

Debbie Gidley, Gidley Management Group: Surprised my family and friends by getting married spontaneously!

Jessi Richter
, Gidley Management Group:  
I spent most of my summer moving from Little Italy to Logan Square! It was difficult, but the move was well worth it, and I have a whole bunch of new restaurants to try now.  So far, Chiya Chai Cafe has been my favorite!

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities 

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Tips for Women Business Owners

Posted By Administration, Thursday, August 4, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, August 2, 2016

SOUL CONNECTIVITY // Your soul must be connected to your daily work. When we take on activities and roles that don’t fit our greater purpose, anxiety arises and an imbalance erupts in our hearts. When we align ourselves with the vibe of busyness we can get burned out, uncontrollably stressed and off the path of our vision. We all go through a roller coaster of being overwhelmed and not knowing which way is up. The vision to improve the lives of others serves as the forefront to our motivation. It recharges us during moments of challenges and reconnects us.

 

SHARE YOUR TRUTH // Don’t hide behind the eyes of perfectionism. Share your challenges, your struggles and how you overcame adversity. With each bit of sharing, your heart releases the permission to others so they may also accept their truth. In turn, their hearts will open and their sharing with others will naturally occur. Imagine how powerful the world could be if we all stopped pretending and started authentically being.

 

FOCUS // Women entrepreneurs tend to want to do it all, RIGHT NOW! And while we can do everything, it may not be best to do it all, RIGHT NOW! Choose 1-2 items to tackle in business and to drive in the sustaining force. Wear invisible borders to provide and facilitate focus on 1-2 items. Key your eye on the main focus and as your business grows and takes off, introduce another item. Priority & focus, focus & priority. That’s a great mantra!

 

BALANCE // Grip self-love and dedicate energy to remaining balanced in your life and

business. What does this mean? It means commit to taking care of yourself first and then others. Meditate daily, exercise often, and spend time in quietness to find your own clarity. Women tend to feel awful and guilty dedicating “me time”. If you aren’t clear with your internal voice, your guided path to your goals and connectivity to unconditional self-love, your business will suffer. Take a few moments each day and find the balance. Allow the love within you to be nurtured internally.

 

SUPPORT // Your soul sisters in friendship will often be your constant through decades of development and evolution. Commit to nurturing your closest friendships and relationships as they will come full circle. You need your friends on this journey of life. Girl time is healing, therapeutic and mandatory to your connectivity.

 

Contributed by Alyssa Burns, Owner of Alyssa Burns Communications

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities


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Wistful Dreams? Not for Women in Skilled Trades

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Are you wishing for a job with advancement potential and solid pay that doesn’t take a graduate degree from a university? Then you may want to consider pursuing a career in the skilled trades. With reported shortages of skilled trade workers in fields like construction, electrical installation and maintenance, welding, and HVAC, employers are actively recruiting qualified women and men. Recently, Tulsa Welding School developed an infographic to highlight the career opportunities in the trades for women

Excellent Pay and Job Growth

Welders enjoy an average annual salary of a healthy $40,040 per year, while HVAC technicians average $46,880 per year and electricians average $54,520. If you wish to pursue career advancement with even higher salaries, you can work towards being an electrical foreman or an HVAC operation manager or distribution manager. If you would like to reach even higher, you can earn a bachelor’s degree and work towards being an electrical project manager or project engineer.

 

Now is a great time to consider a career change. The demand for HVAC installers and electricians is expected to grow by 14 percent through 2024, and the American Welding Society estimates a shortage of 400,000 welders by that same year.

Join the Ranks of Women in the Trades

Women make up only 8.9 percent of the workforce in the construction industry, yet the educational requirements are much faster and usually much less expensive than a four-year degree. Train to join the growing ranks of women in skilled trades, and within a short time, you could be earning solid pay in an industry that has its arms wide open for women.

 

See the attached infographic to learn more about women in the skilled trades.

 

Contributed by Kathy Jackson, of the Tulsa Welding School.  Recognizing a strong demand for skilled tradespeople, two welders founded Tulsa Welding School in 1949. Since then, the school has been equipping students with the skills, knowledge, and workplace attitudes necessary to successfully enter the fields of welding, HVAC/R, and electrical applications.

 

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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As the Weather Gets Hot, Don’t Let Your Networking Get Cold!

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 1, 2016

As the Weather Gets Hot, Don’t Let Your Networking Get Cold!

For some of us, summer is the time when things slow down – our working hours may change, our work dress code may become a little more relaxed, big projects may be completed and put away.

For some of us, summer is a time of new juggling acts: children have to be transported to summer camps, our work routines may need to be changed around to accommodate others’ vacations, we may have to work harder to get people to respond to our messages.

But whether or not things truly do slow down for us, it’s important that we don’t let the networking skills we’re working so hard to perfect get rusty.  We can learn to use the different pace that summer presents us with to hone our skills so that we’re ready for fall’s business schedule.

 Here are a few things to remember and practice over the summer:

  1. Always, always, always carry some of your business cards, even if they have to be tucked away in your beach bag.  You never know when you might cross paths with someone with whom you want to build a relationship.

  2. Think of the summer as the time to practice “accidental” networking.  The neighborhood pool party, church picnic, 5k race all give you the chance to meet and speak with new people or with familiar people in a new way. Just be sensitive to the vibe of the gathering – you may not be able to start a conversation about work interests as overtly as you do during a more business-centric event.

  3. As an extension of #2, practice the art of listening at these informal gatherings. Because the summer gives us the chance to mingle in more informal settings, brush up on your conversational skills that focus on the people you are with so that you’re asking about them and finding ways to connect with their interests.

  4. Look for a new group to join – the summer is often the time groups are planning for the upcoming fall-spring seasons and looking for new ideas.  You may have the opportunity to get in on the “ground floor” of such planning.

  5. Think about organizing a social outing that includes some people you’d like to get to know better.  There are plays, concerts, cooking classes, and outdoor restaurants that offer opportunities to get together and enjoy the great weather.

Summer is the time we all point to as proof that life in and around Chicago is wonderful!  Use this glorious time to improve your networking skills and you’ll be ready for fall in no time!

Contributed by Dr. Carol Jambor-Smith.


Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities
 

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