Networking has always been an important career skill for professionals, but never has it been so vital for survival. And I’m beginning to realize how lucky I was to go through two bad economies in California before this economic tsunami hit.
Why? I learned in California that consulting and entrepreneurism was a great option in a bad economy. My late husband, a seasoned journalist, convinced me to form a marketing partnership when the LA economy crashed in the early 90s, since both our careers had been impacted. We each brought in clients and Tim became part of a team of journalists consulting for a new search engine called Excite, inventing content on the world wide web. Several months into the assignment, the team was told that the company required full-time commitments and relocation to Sausalito, north of San Francisco. Tim didn’t hesitate, although only one other journalist shared his total belief in the future of search engines.
It was the beginning of a wild ride in the dot-com boom and bust through a series of start-ups for both of us. And when it crashed, we teamed up again as consultants to successfully ride out the recession. All along the way, I developed great support, referrals and friendships in three organizations – Women in Communications, NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and Women in Business – all with chapters in LA and SF.
As the economy continues to flounder this time around, I often think of those California years, missing my husband terribly who died in October, 2003, but remembering the lessons. In fact, I recently teamed up again with a former marketing partner from SF, Babette McDougal of Sausalito Associates. The networking seems natural at this point, just as the excitement of learning social networking reminds me of those early days in Silicon Valley. My colleagues in TeamWomen-NYC, NAWBO-NYC and other networking organizations provide wonderful inspiration for me, along with my fellow Board members and friends in the Flatbush Food Coop. A scary time? Yes. But hang on and you too can learn to enjoy the bumpy ride!