Something I have learned throughout my life is that there are resources for everything. It’s just a matter of exploring and seeking them out. Not only are we all living in a season where we need to know what our resources are, but how to access them and find opportunities.
One group of resources I find particularly important, is networking resources. Especially since March, it’s been harder for everyone to stay financially stable or score that job offer they’ve been working towards for way too long. Especially during these times, when job pools are more competitive than they have ever been, it’s important to find and establish important relationships with key decision makers, thereby increasing your chances of finding your next job or professional endeavor. According to PayScale and LinkedIn, as much as 85% of job seekers find their job through networking.
Overall, networking can grant you opportunity, it can grant profound learning, and give you the chance to develop life long friendships.
Not only do I consider having a reason to network essential, but you also need a space to do it—where the people you’re reaching out to and trying to talk to are open and interested in reciprocating the same thing. This is why the following 5 resources will truly transform how you network and find opportunity.
The Boss Network
The Boss Network or the “Bringing Out Successful Sisters” Network is a great online and in-person resource for networking with other women. This community is great for lifting women up, especially women of color! They encourage and promote women’s small business spirit and professional development. It’s a community of both entrepreneurial and career driven women, where women support each other through conversation, online and in-person networking events.
Not only do they provide opportunities for women to connect, but they also provide a really awesome and unique feature I want to highlight. They provide a business directory on their website, where they list all of the businesses of their members, so that the community or anyone visiting their website can learn about these businesses and choose to support them. Especially during this time when our nation’s small businesses and people of color are suffering, this is a great place to support women-of-color owned businesses!
The CRAVE Company focuses on bringing women together and propelling them in their professional and personal lives. They provide events, programs, workshops, and other resources for women to network so that they can hear each other’s stories, collaborate, innovate, reinvent, create and build community together.
Some of their unique programs include “CRAVE YOUR LIFE”, where women can attend a 6-week workshop that helps women get “obsessively specific” about what their professional and life goals are, and execute them.
Hera Hub is an international female-focused co-working space and business accelerator. They support entrepreneurial women by giving them physical spaces where they can create and collaborate in a professional and productive environment. They also provide a community of women, including connections to business experts so that you can grow your business in an informed manner. Members have access to educational workshops, visibility within the community, funding opportunities and more so that they can gain greater presence with their business.
They are also a certified Benefit Corporation, which commits to higher standards of company transparency and accountability.
SAVOR THE SUCCESS
SAVOR THE SUCCESS is an online social network and PR co-operative for female entrepreneurs and professionals who are looking to boost their own visibility and gain a wealth of connections. In their first 9 months of operation, they already had 10,000 members networking with each other! It was also named Forbes Best 100 Websites for Women, who are “accomplished founders, creators, connectors, and movers and shakers” that push each other to achieve through goal making and completion. Savor The Success offers women PR opportunities, an active online community, an online business school, community center, and wellness lifestyle hub. Who couldn’t get on board with that!
Small Business Association
SBA is not only an amazing resource for women, but they also offer “Women’s Business Centers (WBCs)”, which represent a national network of 100+ learning centers which are made to help women in starting and growing their businesses. They also provide women entrepreneurs (especially those economically or socially disadvantaged) comprehensive training and counseling on a variety of topics.
There are so many more networking resources, it can sometimes be overwhelming! However, I encourage you to check out the ones above, as they have the potential to transform how you connect with others in your space.