In the Professional World, Why A Wide “Net” is “King”
By: Maria Sahakian, Chair
“Networking” – a word that can be met with indifference due to how frequently it’s used or even utter disdain, and isn’t necessarily a concept that immediately sparks excitement and joy (“Another networking event Facebook invite…”). Would everyone agree that that’s a fair assessment?
Let’s strip away the connotation of the act of networking that elicits this range of responses and look at the action behind the term – casting a wider net.
We’re all familiar with the saying, “It’s all about who you know.” Sure, you may already have some resourceful or influential contacts, but what that idea fails to address is that especially in a world that is increasingly connected and interactive, it’s really about everyone you know. Put simply, the more people you meet and become acquainted with, the higher your chances are of signing a new client, landing a better job or establishing an otherwise valuable professional relationship.
That brings us to the importance of casting a wider net, aka networking, the active pursuit of building and expanding one’s base of contacts. This is also where, for professionals between the ages of 21 and 40 who live in, work in, or want to be involved in Glendale, GYP enters the conversation.
In late 2011, a group of young professionals, myself included, founded an organization under the Glendale Chamber of Commerce aimed at giving our counterparts in Glendale’s business community a place to connect with one another. Glendale Young Professionals (GYP), as the program came to be called, serves as an incubator for the next generation of business and community leaders in the City of Glendale with a membership that spans diverse fields, among them legal, medical, business and financial, the arts and entertainment, tech, and marketing and media.
Over the last five and a half years, GYP’s all-volunteer Leadership Council has partnered with the top companies and institutions in LA’s fourth largest city to host over 65 monthly events, along the way accumulating a number of #GYPSuccessStories born out of interactions that took place at the likes of the Nestle US headquarters right here in Glendale, DreamWorks Animation campus, Fortune 100 company New York Life’s penthouse suite or at sunset on the rooftop of ONYX, one of the City’s newest luxury residential complexes.
My own work environment is social in nature. As the Director of Marketing & Events for the Alex Theatre at Glendale Arts, connecting with people and forming working relationships is an activity I engage in daily, including with each of the companies mentioned above. Getting involved in GYP made sense for me because it was rooted in what I already do and served as an extension of my job. On the flip side, others who have become GYP members may have been looking for an entry point to meeting and interacting with local peers and Glendale Young Professionals has served as that avenue for them.
Everyone has different needs based on where they are in their careers or areas they may be looking to improve or change. As GYP looks ahead to 2018, we invite you to share what businesses, industries, and types of activities that align with your professional interests you would like to see represented at future events. Tell us what might even check the “excitement” and “joy” boxes for you! Email your feedback to Info@GlendaleYP.com or message us on Facebook @GlendaleYP.
At the end of the day, whatever terminology we apply to it, “it’s all about” equipping ourselves to succeed by constructing a toolbox that includes a broad network placed alongside our education, skills, and experience no matter what we do or aspire to.