Business Networking in Retirement

Love it or hate it, business owners and key professionals have become accustomed to walking into rooms full of people and making small talk with strangers. It's the real life equivalent of Twitter or LinkedIn. Sometimes to ease the conversation and connections, games are played. 

I recall one event where we had to stand up in turn and tell the room what we were looking for in the lowest number of words possible. That was an easy one for a divorce lawyer: "adultery"; it reduced the room to hysterics but I did get work referred as a result!

Relieved of the obligation to network in retirement, I have been toying with deleting my LinkedIn profile. It does seem a brutal step to take, severing those historic connections and therefore the potential for reconnecting. Conversely, the deeper I get into retirement living, the deeper the divergence from the business world and the less important maintaining an online profile seems to be.

Recently, however, an old colleague from Assist, a ladies' networking group that I helped to form, used LinkedIn to contact me. The tenth anniversary of the formation of the network was approaching and  the attendance of the original committee at the birthday celebration was to be the icing on the cake, or so her message indicated.

This explains, therefore, why on Friday afternoon, in sugar-glazed mode, I entered a room full of people whom I was convinced I wouldn't know with a view to making polite conversation secure in the knowledge that at the least I would get to eat cake! Immediately, however, I was at home with both familiar and unknown faces for what was an uplifting session with stimulating talks from some inspirational local business women as well as Anna Turley MP and the new mayor of Middlesbrough, Andy Preston. 

It's perhaps as well that I have now firmly moved onto Planet Retirement, otherwise the urge to set up my own entrepreneurial operation or stand for Parliament may have been too great. Oh and yes, I ate cake too!


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