By Roberta Smith
We all have heard the saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know”. It’s a fact that knowing the right person in the right area can land you a new job, an invite to exclusive events, or even introduce you to your future spouse. We aren’t saying it’s time to dump all your old friends or only spend time with people who can bring you status or social benefits. We are saying it is important for women, black women in particular, to always keep individuals in your circle who can help you level up in life. Whether you need resources to start your business venture or just want to find travel buddies, here are five tips to level up your professional and personal circle:
1. Get Out of the house, sis
It can be tempting to spend your weekends rewatching Insecure & eating your favorite take-out meal, but balance is important. Aim to take at least two days out of your month to get out of the house and socialize. The more you go out, the better your chances of meeting people, whether it be a new friend that becomes your brunch buddy or your new romance, you won’t make those connections from your couch. The first step to making those pivotal connections is putting yourself out there. The new life you dream of will not come to you.
2. Be Open to explore different interests
Remember when we were in high school or even the first two years of college? Most of the classes we took were all different subjects, P.E. consisted of different sports, and most of your classes were with different people. The method to that madness was it allowed you to explore different interests and see what you could see yourself pursuing as a career or even a hobby you could pursue long term. As adults, we tend to forget about hobbies as we get bogged down with all of life’s responsibilities. Join different social clubs, try new activities, and you will be surprised at what your world morphs into. Activities like a hiking club, book club, or even an athletic club is a great way to meet people with similar interests and be your way to cultivating the lifestyle you always wanted.
3. Don’t be shy about things you want
Do you want to start a business or considering solo travel? Do not be afraid to talk about it. The person you are talking to can have a plethora of resources or connections that they will gladly share with you. While it is true that some people can be major gatekeepers and slow to want to help others, that is not always the case. A lot of people can and will be helpful if you let them. Don’t be coy or secretive about your goals. Simple conversations are what take ideas to real-life creations.
4. Leave the negativity at home
First impressions are everything. We don’t encourage being overly nice and clearly coming off as fake. However, have a warm aura about yourself. Be open to conversation with strangers, if someone approaches you to talk to them be kind and welcoming. If you come off as a negative or rude person, this will be an immediate turn off to people.
5. Change your environment
Moving may be the most extreme on the list but sometimes it is necessary. Relocating can spark a whole new change in you. It forces you out of your comfort zone and while exploring a new city, it opens you up to the possibility of trying new things. Chances are there are 1-2 places you have always wanted to live but have been too scared to make it happen. This is your sign to go for it. Make it a priority to go on 1-2 solo trips there so you can experience what it would feel like to live there. You only live once so make the most of the chance to experience life how you want.
You might be wondering what’s an easy way to make friends with other women. You may not know that a social club for black women exists throughout the United States and internationally. The name of the club? Brown Skin Brunchin. Brown Skin Brunchin was founded in 2018 by best friends Melissa Mason and Lillian Jackson to create a space for black women to form social and professional connections through a monthly brunch. There are currently 90 chapters across the U.S including Toronto, Grenada, Paris, and London.
Brunch is usually the activity the group does but occasionally other activities such as wineries, pool parties and boat excursions are the monthly activity. Joining this club is your way to brunch at some of the best restaurants in your city while making new friends. And you never know who you could find yourself brunching with. BSB members include judges, journalists, and affluent business owners. Joining a club like Brown Skin Brunchin can open your professional and social circles on all levels.