We had the good fortune of connecting with Christy Conner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I used to be a person who regularly worked sixty to eighty hours a week. When you spend that much time working, you don’t have time to connect with others. As I advanced in my career, I learned that there were fewer opportunities the higher up you were (I was an executive), and it took longer to land them. When you finish a job and begin the transition to a new one, you will wish you had spent some of that time building relationships outside of it, because these days, a job is temporary, but a network is forever. It is something you are continually building on throughout your life and is independent of your job. I needed to shift from being focused exclusively on my job to also being focused on my broader career development and personal well-being. I began to understand that networking is just one pillar in that development, along with a career strategy and professional development that I needed to allocate time and resources to. There are three pillars to your career development. The first, your career strategy, describes your job and how you advance along your strategic career path. The second, professional development, is the continual knowledge you acquire which gives you the skills you need to achieve your career goals. Network development is the third pillar. It builds the relationships that enhance and propel your career in new directions. It is what opens future doors. Networking also exposes you to new innovations in the marketplace. It allows you to keep your ear to the ground for what is coming next. As I found my balance in my career development, I also focused on my work/life balance and personal well-being. I needed enough work/life balance to ensure that I got enough sleep, ate nourishing food, exercised, was able to take care of my family and spiritual life. Along with some salsa and swing dancing! With the onset of COVID, a fractured foot, and family members whose heath has suffered, I discovered I needed to increase my list of balance items, to ensure my physical and mental well-being. I picture the “well-being” items below like a pie and as the stress increases, I need more of the pie (sometimes literally…)! • Sleep • Nourishing food • Exercise • Spiritual life • Are my work boundaries ok? • Are my relationship boundaries ok? • Do I have time out for myself? • Am I self-expressed? • Am I breathing/meditating? When stress in my life increases, I need to make sure and put my own oxygen mask on first before I can help others. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I fail, but I always keep taking the next step. Wishing you balance and health on your own journey…keep taking that next step!
What should our readers know about your business?
I am lucky enough to have a few different careers at once! I work in technology and also own my own business around my book The Confident Connector™: How to Build Your Must-Have Network in an Era of Job Insecurity. I love creating connection, helping executives in career transition, and enabling innovation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For a long weekend, I would kick off my Friday at Friday Coffee Meetup http://fridaycoffeemeetup.com/ and hear from an amazing speaker and network with the community. From there I would head to The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens https://www.huntington.org/ and check out the sculptures by Enrique Martinez Celaya http://www.martinezcelaya.com/. Wandering through the gardens makes me dream of traveling to far away places so I would call on Live Travel http://www.livetravel.co/ to book a luxury get away. I would then head to Old Town Pasadena to Amara Café https://amaracafe.com/ for Cachapa, Churros, and Venezuelan hot chocolate, followed by salsa dancing with Arlene Santos @ArlenetheSalsaQueen at Lumina Academy of Dance https://www.facebook.com/LuminaAcademyofDance. On Saturday, I would start off with a virtual workout with https://www.breakthrufitness.com/ and then do a little recovery with a float session at JustFloat https://www.justfloat.com/. I would stop by Vroman’s Bookstore https://www.vromansbookstore.com/ to pick up a new book and head to The Tap Room at The Langham Huntington Pasadena https://www.langhamhotels.com/en/the-langham/pasadena/ for lunch out on the balcony and then cap off the night at Pasadena Ballroom Dance http://www.pasadenaballroomdance.com/dances to hear a live band and swing dance!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout goes to the Friday Coffee Meetup volunteers, speakers, and community! The volunteers give their time and resources to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, the speakers share their wisdom, and the community supports one another to achieve their goals. I am continually inspired by this group! Website: fridaycoffeemeetup.com Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/Innovation-friday-coffee-meetup/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqEpMLu3srTmz_hbS0ucCBQ
Keith Berson (Blue Dress & Book Photo)