“What Manchester says today, the rest of England says tomorrow” was a popular proverb that had its roots in nineteenth century Britain. It was appropriate then, in the world’s first industrial city, that MyHRcareers should hold its first networking event at MediaCity on the transformed docks in Salford on Wednesday, October 7th. Charlotte Hallaways from Veran Performance founded myHRcareers, a network of more than 4,000 HR professionals, over a year ago.
In my estimation, ‘people make places’. And the Pantry on Dock 7 in the Quays was a good place to be, as there were lots of warm and friendly people in the room, a testament to the efforts of the myHRcareers team and the HR professionals present. Despite still being a student, albeit an old one at 33, I felt really at home. Joseph Walton, from Veran Performance, spoke briefly and enthusiastically about his HR career which began in Manchester. Then the HR Director for Mediacom in the North West, Laura McGowan, took to the floor and gave a short stirring speech in which she implored those of us present to, in a metaphorical sense: “jump off a cliff, just do it…” She was referring to her decision to ‘up sticks’ and relocate to London and her belief that sometimes, despite our fears, we just have to ‘go for it’.
Networking is about building bridges based on foundations of mutual trust and respect. (Hence the picture of the MediaCity footbridge which opened in 2011). In a changing world the power of a trusted personal recommendation carries more weight than ever. How many times have you asked a friend, relative or colleague if they knew a good builder/decorator/plumber/electrician or asked someone if they could recommend a really good place to eat? If a tradesperson or a restaurant does a good job, you will probably recommend them. Face-to-face networking can be an invaluable way of ‘getting out there’, establishing credibility and demonstrating integrity.
Getting the chance to meet decision makers for those starting out in any profession can be difficult. The event gave me, a newcomer to HR, a chance to talk to established HR professionals in a friendly relaxed atmosphere.
It is always good to meet positive people and there were plenty of them in The Pantry on October 7th. The attendees I spoke to and the myHRcareers team seemed pleased with how the evening had gone, and rightly so… Looking forward to the next event in Manchester. Hope to see you there!