“When asked about the future of the working environment, 74% of professionals answered that they believe remote work will become the new normal. This opinion is also shared by 76% of entrepreneurs…” Desmond Foy
This is a great opportunity – for those who have already made it or have the gumption to start their own thing. But what about the young professionals trying to just break in or move up in the ranks?
While it’s been a novelty to work from home, I’m fortunate enough to have made it up through the ranks and sit in an established and respected management position when the pandemic hit. How did I get here though? My education and professional experience were certainly a very large percentage of it but what about the other part? The part where I was able to get the attention of my directors or those above not just through my performance, but through my personality. I was able to create a relationship – whether it was just a matter of someone recognizing me in the hall or someone who regularly chatted with me by the watercooler. Those connections are critical in helping employees stand out and potential advancement. There is another place, too, where I have been able to build important professional connections – on the golf course.
Every place I’ve worked I have made great friends, acquaintances, and connections. This is part of how we grow our business network. How is all this connection possible on Zoom when you are only exposed to the person scheduling the call? It is the brief glimpses into our personal side that get the attention of our peers and leaders. It is the way we handle ourselves, handle challenges, treat our colleagues, treat the all-too important admin assistant. That is how we demonstrate our life skills beyond just the tasks we can handle or even go above and beyond. These things set us apart from our competition by adding another dimension to our capabilities and, quite frankly, our likeability. Culture is critical in every work environment.
I feel for the youth just starting their journeys. If I could offer one piece of advice, I’d say ‘pick up some golf clubs and hit the golf course’. You’ll get fresh air, challenge yourself and once you’re done, you’ll realize that there are more “IRL” connections to be made both during and after a great game. This is where a lot of business networking takes place.
And if you don’t have a watercooler to socialize at, through golf you can always spark up a chat over beers at the 19th hole.
In life – be in in the office or on the course – our relationships are currency for which we can build and bank. I know that golf has been an important part of my professional life and the intersection has been rewarding. Zoom holds no allure over manicured fairways and a nice clubhouse patio.
* Thanks for Jacqueline Court for the inspiration and support around this piece and my efforts to develop the 36 A Day brand. Jacquie is a content creator/producer at She 2.0 and Once Upon A Brand and is based in Toronto, ON. @jacqpc