You probably weren’t expecting that advice, but in today’s competitive environment it is very important. Spending all of your time at work and avoiding extracurricular activities can do more harm than good. Here’s a couple of reasons volunteering, hobbies and family time should be considered priorities.
1) Your company’s annual parties (or water cooler, cafeteria, etc.). Having a life outside of work helps you avoid being the person no one wants at their table. While we all understand our careers are important, VERY few people want to discuss it in social settings. Trust me, your colleagues want to relax, have fun conversations and enjoy the evening.
Your outside interests can offer great conversation pieces and help your colleagues see you on another level. And since most people make decisions that are emotional, it is in your best interest that people not only know you are great at your job, but that they like you as a person.
2) Easy networking. I’ve discussed this before, so I’ll keep this short. Joining organizations that you are passionate about will allow you to meet others with the same passion. It’s a nonthreatening win/win situation. You get to do something that you love and you never know who you will be working with on the various projects.
3) Great ideas. Many ideas are born when you allow yourself to relax. And what better way to relax than to spend time with those you love? I have had some of my greatest inspirations playing with my daughter (children truly see things differently than adults), shopping with friends or having light conversations with my family and friends.
Have something you’d like to add? Let me know.
Towanda Long aka The Cafe Lady