It has been quite while since I have been to a networking event so last Thursday I gladly dressed up and attended Networking in Heels at the Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi.
By the title of the event, you can guess that it was a women’s only affair and they came… in droves, dressed to the nines and obviously, in killer heels. Apart from the great ambience, wonderful MC, I enjoyed the Back to Business lessons from the speakers which I will share in two parts.
Norah Odwesso took to the podium and everyone was eager to hear her speak. She spoke passionately about the fact that Africa is rising: we are no longer the dark continent due to the myriad of available opportunities (especially for young women).
She shared the following the following shocking statistics:
Women spend $ 20 million in discretionary spending which accounts for 2/3 of the world’s spending
They do 66% of the world’s work, earn 10% of the world’s income, own 1 % of the world’s property and re-invest 90% of the their income.
With these numbers, she gave the following tips on how to be game-changers in own microcosm:
- Find my USP: Everyone needs to find their unique skills and expertise in order to position themselves in the marketplace.
- Paint my own success picture or shudder picture: This is the only way that you will get out of bed every morning. You have to know what moves you and keeps you awake at night so that you know that your plan of action is.
- Manage your areas of vulnerabilities and insecurities so that you will not be caught off-guard. This can be done by taking those extra courses, researching on the net and talking to people about your area of interest. All your efforts will also play a part in changing your conversations.
- Take personal responsibility and make informed choices: It’s time to step up and act on your wants and dreams. There is no reason for throwing a pity party. Ok, for two days. Only. If you want that house, you better starting saving. If you want that award, you better put in the hours.
- BONUS: Have those difficult conversations with your bosses, managers, significant others… Outline both your expectations and chart a way forward. (My note:This was a big for me… since, I am the non-confrontational type).
- Support structures and critical choices: These are very important since they make you or break you. I don’t think I have say more on networking.
- Continuous learning through reading and feedback: You all know how I feel about books and Norah read my mind on this one. Feedback is important for monitoring progress.