A few weeks ago, I spoke with the members of the NYSSCPA's Manhattan/Bronx Chapter about "Chatting with a Purpose". The NYSSCPA is doing great work helping new CPAs and those on the path to becoming a CPA prepare for the workplace. Before holding the NextGen Accounting Career Fair, the NextGen committee holds several sessions on networking and resume preparation to ensure that CPAs are ready to navigate the process of finding and successfully applying for a job.
My particular session focused on making contacts and turning those contacts into relationships. There were two aspects to this conversation. The first is how to take relationships from the virtual to the actual. The second was how to navigate the process of meeting people in person and establishing productive relationships.
Now, I am a big champion of social media, including Facebook, everyone's punching bag. I have been fortunate to travel and meet people from all over the world. I have found social media a very effective way to keep in touch. In recent years, I have become more active on other social media platforms and I have worked to balance the pros and cons in order to leverage social media in positive and productive ways. With NextGen CPAs, however, social media is hardly the challenge. Connecting and communicating in virtual realms tends to be the default of our modern age. The real challenge is translating interactions on social media into real world relationships and we had a great discussion about how to make this happen.
A second challenge for many of us is how to find ways to meet people, talk to people and turn those first conversations into something that lasts longer than that moment. There are many things that people struggle with, for instance:
Following Chatting with a Purpose, the NYSSCPA hosted a cocktail hour where we all practised the skills we had been discussing.
Careers are not solely about becoming qualified and being knowledgeable. A very important aspect of a successful career is the relationships a person establishes and maintains, not only virtually but also in real and tangible ways.