Build your network! (because working in sustainability can be isolating)

Do you feel on your own in your work?

What I mean when I say that is do you need more support in your work than you get now? Even if you’re part of a team, is the sense of collaboration, support, camaraderie missing?

Whether you’re part of a small team in a big organisation or you’re self employed, there’s a lot about working in sustainability that can feel isolating. Even if you do have the most supportive colleagues and manager.You know that the meaningful work you do would be SO much easier if only you had a better community around you.

In today’s blog we’re talking about your working community and why it’s so important to create a network that supports you.

Because (spoiler alert) your working community can make a huge difference to how enjoyable and easy your work is, and how supported and inspired you feel in your career.

CR BirdThe concept of community has changed a LOT in the last few decades, and yet, community is as important to us pack animals as it ever was. The thing is that community gives us so much: A space to share a common purpose or interest; a feeling of support and a sense of togetherness and connection; new perspectives and ideas; seeing what else is possible and being inspired and stretched as a human being.

And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

But when we think of community we go straight to personal life. In fact we spend a huge amount of time and energy maintaining friendships, making new friends and generally building our personal networks. Because we know how important our personal community is to us.

But what about your working community?

Seriously. But what about your working community?

Work is such a HUGE part of our lives. More than just the time we spend at work, it is also a channel for creating the impact we want, contributing to society, growing and being challenged ourselves, and being a part of something bigger than just us. It has the potential to be a really fulfilling part of our lives. And the people you work alongside and the people that support you in that work have the ability to make or break that experience for you. A good team can be the difference between loving or hating your work.

Just like living in a friendly street can enrich your home life, so your work community can impact your experience of work and the professional world.

So what is a working community:

Consider your friends. No doubt they’re spread across the country you live in, maybe even the world. You’re not united by geography you’re connected by interests, values, experiences and perspectives. And so your working community is the same. Your team and boss are your immediate working community of course. But proximity doesn’t have to define your support network.

CR CommunityLike your friends, your community are the people who are on your side. They ‘get’ you, they inspire you. For example, your friend across town who’s in a similar work situation. Or your previous boss who understands how hard it is to be a woman in your sector and is endlessly supportive. And the mentor or coach who sees you as your boldest self. The ‘team’ who together give you the support you need to make your working life as fun, inspiring, supported, challenging and fulfilling as it could be.

Accepting versus creating

So this network is about more than just accepting what grows up around you, and instead, creating a network of people who give you what you need.

This is about taking responsibility for your working life and community and not hoping (passively) that something might change without you needing to make any decisions or actions.

Over to you:

Whats the main thing missing from your working life? Community, someone to troubleshoot things with, a creative buddy, people to be accountable to, a mentor or coach or someone to help you move forward in your career, or something else? Please share in the comments below. Likewise if you’ve got a great community, tell us what you’ve done to create it.


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    Copyright ©Joey Clifton 2014 | Website Design by Lisa McLoughlin Art

    © Joey Clifton 2014-15 | Website Design by Lisa McLoughlin Art