Expanding your circle at work is extremely important to your career growth. Connecting with your peers and having additional sources of friendship and support will help improve overall job satisfaction and give you a stronger sense of belonging.
One way I’ve been fortunate enough to expand my circle at work is by leading a book club. Of course I had reservations about leading this initiative. Would anyone buy in? Would attendees come unprepared and only a few talk? Would anyone be open enough to share experiences to make our meetings worthwhile? I had to do my best to create a safe space by building trust among the group. By promoting us all to be active listeners and encouragers throughout, the book club meetings were such a great success. Here are three of my biggest takeaways from this rewarding endeavor.
- You can learn something new.
Author John Piper has said, “Books don’t change people; paragraphs do, sometimes even sentences.” Although you might be fortunate to absorb a plethora of information from the book, it is okay to have only one "aha" moment, one take away, or one new effective idea that you can apply not only to your work life, but personal life as well.
- You can build or strengthen relationships.
Sit by someone you don’t directly work with, be engaged, be visible, be vulnerable, be open for discussion and share your ideas and your dilemmas. We all offer different opinions about what things mean to us and you can really get to know someone by listening to each other’s viewpoints and experiences.
- You can have fun.
Small side conversations are going to happen. Help create a laid back, relaxed atmosphere to discuss the book and be willing to jump into conversations on whatever topic comes up. These are the extra moments to truly make this a memorable experience.
We all must search for those chances to gain more knowledge, expand our circles and create new relationships. HORNE is gearing up for another round of book clubs and I highly encourage all team members to get involved and participate. If your company isn’t offering a book club, perhaps seek out the opportunity to launch your own!
About the Author
Katie is a government services manager responsible for financial oversight, disbursement of funds and confirming applicant compliance. Embracing her role in building the Wise Firm, she leads by example—empowering team members to leave their comfort zone, make bold moves and own their career.