Do you join professional organizations, intending to attend social or educational events, and at the end of the year find that you missed every single meeting? Lots of professionals have the intention to get out of the office more, do more learning and networking, and they never seem to get around to it.
I’ve been hosting professional events for more than 12 years and I know for a fact that I’ll never find a date, time or location that works for everyone. Every time I send out an invitation to an event, I receive numerous replies that say, “I wish I could, but…..”
So if you find yourself in a situation where you can’t leave your office EVER to attend a workshop, know that there are a lot of women who struggle with this.
But there is a problem with your situation. If you are not continually learning, how are you going to improve? How are you going to get promoted, or implement new technology or access new trends?
Remember that as a leader, you’re a role model to others. It’s very important that they see how much you value professional education and personal improvement. I encourage you to get the schedules from the organizations that you belong to and choose the events you want to attend right now.
Block that time off on your calendar IMMEDIATELY—because you know that if you don’t block it the time will fill. Register for these events early and show up early. Don’t schedule yourself with something important right after a business workshop. You need time to process what you’ve learned, or you might meet your next big client or employer while you’re there, and you don’t want to have to rush away.
When you leave your office for a few hours a month, you give yourself the opportunity to grow, and you let your team know that they can be trusted to handle things while you’re gone. If something does come up LET THEM HANDLE IT WITHOUT YOU. You should not be getting calls or text messages about minor things when you are away from the office.
Now this might be a big step for you, but try it for a year and see what happens. Remember, regardless of your title, you are influencing others.