Greater than 5 minutes, my friend!
The weather outside was frightful, but the company sure made up for it. Last week’s coworking-session for language professionals at the König Communications home base (literally) smack in the middle of the Palatine woods was very much a get-together of like-minded professionals.
I do love my little haven in the wilderness and the solitude that comes with it. My loyal K9-companion and the view significantly add to the charm of days spent wearing my thinking cap and writing up storms. Joining a mixed-industry co-working space long-term is not an option for me. On the other hand, meeting and temporarily cohabitating with peers very much is. And here’s why it could be for you, too:
1: Because, inspiration.
Even the greatest of minds need a fresh blast of air now and again. Working away the days inside your cozy home office means working at your own pace and your own time. What at first glance is a dream come true could lead to you losing sight of your entrepreneurial path. Here’s a for instance: What can you tell me about your marketing schedule? You don’t need one? Wrong. You’re happy with the workload as is and even if you wanted to, you don’t have the time? Big mistake.**
Meeting with colleagues means more than trading stories of jobs well done. Just listen to another’s tale of beating procrastination or how they managed to fit the big picture, building a sustainable business, into the daily image of projects and bookkeeping. Watch out! You could find yourself inspired to evaluate your processes and cast a keen eye on your to-do lists.
2: Because, new horizons.
Talking shop offers endless input and insights from people who know just what you go through during your day-to-day. Think new tools and toys, software and hardware, bookkeeping processes and business apps. There were times when I didn’t necessarily feel like I was in need of input until I heard a colleague talking about their trusted accountant, or pointing out an incredibly CPD opportunity or software that has them finally, finally on track with their invoicing. This is your chance to bring something to the table, too. One of my favorite mantras “give thrice, ask once” does apply here. Let your peers know about your favorite helpers and proven how-tos. Trust that your intel will be appreciated. And isn’t it a great feeling to offer a solution where it’s needed and help someone out? You know it is.
3: Because, change of scenery.
Same obnoxious neighbor being obnoxious every day? CAT-tool on a diet has you all stressed out? Mailman knows all your favorite playlists by heart? Feeling like working the week away in lumpy PJs and slurping mug after mug of coffee, your hair held up with a fork is not a reflection of your best business-self? Well, getting out of the house might just be the thing for you. With excellent CPD at our fingertips right there on our comfy sofa and clients contacting us online, we’re prone to get a little gun-shy when it comes to the outside world.
Nowadays, I hear colleagues talking about how they hate being contacted over the phone – a statement that has me quite rattled, to be honest with you. Don’t wait for the next conference to wipe the spider webs off your laptop case. Joining the real work world might be just what you need. Remember, we are talking about a soft, plushy cloud of peer assessment, shared lunches and discussions at eye level rather than an uninspired corporate tool breathing down your neck and nothing but office gossip to get you through the day.
4: Because, collaboration.
Maybe a new favorite client will call you up, and they need a multilingual project taken care of. Which is when it might come in handy to know just the peers to form a winning team. What if your new favorite client does not, in fact, call you? I see your point and raise you one. Just imagine; they’ll call one of your new in-person acquaintances. Who, in turn, now know YOU. Who do you think will come to mind when they contemplate getting a team together or finding a substitute while they’re on vacation or forwarding a client who’s not a fit for them. You’re welcome.
5: Because, CPD included.
While young people are the dominant demographic when it comes to coworking sessions, the ecosystem of people in our profession is incredibly diverse. I am talking translators of all shape (language combination) and color (specialization and in-depth experience), as well as (copy)writers, proofreaders, editors, all the way to (future) project managers and boutique agency owners. From pitch sessions to roundtables on marketing to more “mundane” things like valuable intel on health insurance, agencies, and accounting. Free. Food for thought. For you.
6: Because, long-range networking.
Again, think of the diversity of peers you know – or don’t know. You might not believe it, but a lot of amazing colleagues are not even on social media. The only place to meet them is the real world. To put it very plainly: You never know who you’ll cross paths with and how you might be able to draw from that in the future.
Warning: I’m not talking about socializing for the sake of networking. In fact, I am warning you against joining any networking event with the intention to “hunt” for jobs. A strategy like that will rarely, if ever, work in your favor and might very well backfire. Don’t be creepy Carol/Carl.
Instead, just be yourself. We are a social kind of mammal and merely honoring that part of ourselves will result in an organically grown network of business acquaintances. Some of them will not be your size of clown shoes (and that’s good to know, too!), others will be instant partners in crime. That’s life. What I AM saying is that by immersing yourself into the community, by giving where you can and paying attention to etiquette, manners and the needs of others, you will find yourself in the luxurious position to draw from that in times of need.
And it works online, too. Personally, I tend to hang out with clients more than peers, and I pick and choose the FB-groups I actively participate in. But with an abundance of platforms to choose from, I am sure you’ll find your kind of people if you just dedicate yourself to go looking for them. One example is my own tiny but fierce (and immensely friendly) marketing group on Facebook. As luck would have it, we just had a fantastic Marketing Mentoring Micro Session with Gio Lester on the joys of networking events. She talked about how to organize them, how to make the best of them and above all, how to take a deep breath, jump into the water and enjoy the waves. 60 minutes of CPD, yours for the taking and the next session is already in the wings: December 22nd will bring you a LinkedIn liaison. That is if you are or plan on applying to become one of the fantastic members of the Marketing for Translators and Interpreters Facebook group. It’s a closed group, but if you’re a dedicated language professional, we would love to have you.
** Read my article On Kindness and Curiosity for further inspiration concerning your marketing efforts.
As always, I hope this article of mine managed to leave you inspired and with a smile on your face.
As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let me hear from you!