Hebrews 10:25 NLT “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another,”
Do you have a hidden talent that you are scared to share with the world? Are you aware of the people in your network who can connect you with the right people to cultivate your hidden talent? Has anyone in your network encouraged you in such a way that gave you the confidence to step out on faith?
I received an email from my company’s ERG (Employee Resource) Group about a collaborative summer networking event with a young professional ERG from another company. I looked at the email as an opportunity to meet new people, challenge myself to network, and to make my name known as a recent author. During the event, I stepped up to the plate and introduced myself to some young professionals from my company who I had never met. Amid our icebreaker conversation, a young woman from the other company’s ERG approached us to network. After we all shared our position, roles, and responsibilities, she was interested to learn more about my company. She shared with me that although she works in the banking industry, she is a designer at heart and had been thinking about switching industries. After a few moments, I, in turn, shared with her that I’m an author and a speaker outside of my 9 to 5. She was amazed at the testimony of my journey to becoming an author.
I was intrigued to know what kind of designer was she because there may be positions within my company for her to apply to. I informed her that it may be a good opportunity to get her foot in the door. She told me that she is a clothing designer and proceeded to show me pictures of the pieces that she created. I was shocked at how good the items of clothing looked and inquired if she sells her pieces. As she began to speak with uncertainty, she told me that she’s only designed clothes for herself and had one client. I said to her: “So what’s the problem?”. She replied: “I’m scared. What if people don’t like it?”. I responded: ” You must be doing something right if someone asked you to design an outfit for them and they paid you for it. I’m telling you, you just need to step out on faith. You should start by creating an IG page, network with other up and coming fashion designers, look for events to attend, and look into opportunities to be a vendor. You never know who will ask you to design something for them. One day you could even see your clothes being modeled in a fashion show!”.
Moments later, another colleague from my company, surrounded us. She introduced herself and began to tell us that she’s a fashion enthusiast and a designer coordinator for Harlem fashion week outside of working for our company. Immediately I looked at the woman I was networking with prior and said: “If that isn’t God!”. I turned to the woman from my job and said: “WOW! She’s a designer. She has some dope pieces! I was just encouraging her to attend events and to network with fashion designers. Maybe she could be a vendor at Harlem fashion week”. The 1st woman that I was networking with looked at me, smiled and thanked me for encouraging her.
We all have talents some we willingly share and some we hold back because of fear. You never know when you’re next opportunity will present itself. Networking is important because you will connect with people who will inspire you with their story, give you the assurance you needed, or provide an open door for a major opportunity. Sometimes you have to check who is in your network because God can and He will align you with the right people to encourage you to push past your fears.