If you’re like me, when I hear the word “networking,” I get a little nervous.
It brings up visions of women frantically sticking their business cards in my face and giving me their elevator pitches at some organized luncheon. I prefer the terms, “connecting and collaborating”, because that is what women should be doing.
Let me share an example of how this works. Before the age of 12, I moved five times across the State of Ohio based on my father’s career advancement. Each time we moved, there was no social media to keep in touch and I have only a few yearbooks and some faded pictures to remind me of my childhood friends. I don’t feel sorry for myself, in fact, starting over taught me how to make friends quickly. I generally looked for someone who wore a smile and seemed open to sharing a seat near them in class. As soon as we shared a laugh and possibly a snack, the deal was sealed! I guess that is what networking, connecting and collaborating really is. It is finding commonality with people and enjoying what they bring to the table.
For me, personal connection outweighs the need for a business connection, but I have found that business will come organically. I guess it is because most people want to enjoy who they work with. It’s definitely not a gender-specific thing…my journey through financial services has been filled with both women and men who have deposited seeds of wisdom in my life. Those seeds have grown into a beautiful garden that sometimes has to be weeded, but mostly cultivated and cherished.
As this year’s Women in Retirement Conference (WiRC) Co-Chair, I sometimes have to pinch myself because I get to work with some pretty high-powered women on a project that is truly meaningful to me.
Our brainstorming sessions and genuine collaboration have allowed us to put together a truly dynamic program for our women advisor peers. The added benefit of having the conference in one of the most incredible cities in America should make it irresistible!
Having started in the industry in the dark ages, when I was one of a handful of women in the room, it is absolutely wonderful that we have enough women advisors across the nation to fill a venue! As we know, women have the primary responsibility of taking care of those who do not properly prepare for retirement, so it is important that we help more people achieve retirement readiness. I expect to see a flurry of registrations because this conference will be laser-focused on helping women succeed in the retirement space.
WiRC gives you the opportunity to start your own garden — make plans to join us this year!
Janine Moore, AIF®, CFS, CPFA, is Senior Vice President - Retirement Practice Leader - HUB Texas.