Remember the Buddy System?Reminisce for a moment back to childhood when your school class took field trips to interesting places in the city or region. Weren’t we all assigned a “buddy” to sit with on the bus and to keep each other safely inside the group? If the headcount didn’t add up as the bus was loaded up for the return trip to school, your buddy was responsible for knowing if you had slipped off to the restroom or had been eaten by lions and tigers and bears. Oh my! Well, fast forward many years and this buddy system is still a good idea. Often I meet with people who are in job or career transition. And what a scary and lonely world that can be! Part of my advice to them is to scout out business and association meetings in town that might be not only interesting, but will also allow an opportunity to meet new people in an area of interest. Flash back to the first day of a new school. Remember how scary that could be when you did not know anyone? Put the old buddy system to work for you again! Reach out to friends and business acquaintances by inviting them to attend a meeting with you. A “buddy” can alleviate most of the pain of walking into a crowded room of people in business suits when you are not formally “part of the group.” If you are not able to find a buddy to attend with you, reach out by phone to one of the group’s officers ahead of the meeting to let them know you will be attending. An association’s officer listing can be found on most association websites. Most association officers are very interested in making a new person feel welcomed. You might even make a new friend! So…put the buddy system to work. Reach out and find a friend or be a friend.
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