Well, hello my fellow road warriors!
It’s that time of year, we’re all driving rental cars, eating like teenagers, and piling in to any Starbucks we can find for a quick mental and/or technological charge!
I really do love travel season, getting to see new places and meet new people is a blast and I feel so fortunate to have a job that allows me to do these things. Truthfully, I’m not complaining because I adore my job, however a girl (or boy) can get a little lonely sometimes you know? We all need a little You Go Girl (or Boy)! encouragement every once in a while.
It would seem as though we are constantly surrounded by others at high school visits, college fairs, and information sessions. But what about the rest of the time? Driving to and from these visits in a random rental that you’re unfamiliar with. Staying in a hotel room where you drift silently in and out to various locations throughout the day. Answering emails in a coffee shop, wondering whether or not the people there actually see you, or if you’re blending into the walls. You are certainly busy, but you’re functioning in solitude! It’s not just you though, it’s your entire staff in their territories, it’s your friends at other institutions, and we’re all alone, yet somehow connected!
The purpose of this blog is to give some examples of how you can encourage your peeps and make them feel (if only a little) less isolated.
This week’s tips are as follows:
Group Text vs. Individual Text
I don’t know if all offices are like this, but our office at CLU is quite fond of the “Group Text” method of communication. Thus we are all included in one big conversation about anything that might be currently grabbing our attention. This is great, it really is, we’re all on the same page and we’re all “in the know.” I would say though, that it’s really nice to get an individual text from someone that was written directly to you and only you. Here’s my logic; an individual text is a very simple act, yet it speaks volumes. It shows that this person had you in mind, and wanted to give you their full attention in that moment. It sends the message that someone has your back even though they aren’t physically there with you.
I encourage you, in the coming weeks to send an individual text to one of your colleagues. It does not have to be work related; in fact, the less work related it is the better! I also recommend doing a little research prior to the text. Example, look up the location they’re in and send them the name of a local ice cream shop or somewhere they can get a little treat for themselves! This shows that, you do in fact know where exactly they are right now, and that you care about their well-being.
Use Your Connections
For most of us travel season has just begun. Perhaps we have new territories, or the people we knew in these territories may have moved. One thing for me that feels great while on the road is seeing a familiar face, or meeting a mutual friend of a colleague. I suggest that before travel season gets wild and crazy and you’re completely consumed email your friends at other institutions to check in about what territories they have this year.
This accomplishes two things. One, you’ll find out if any of your territories overlap. Two, you can see if their territories align with any of your staff members. In the case of number two, you can refer these individuals to each other, help them share contact information or just ask them to stop by their table at a college fair.
For example, I might tell my friend Amy at Chapman (fellow blogger, hey girl!) that she has the same territory as our newest staff member at CLU. This way she can introduce herself when she sees him on the road and he can have a connection in that area that he may not have had before. Hopefully making connections with others in similar areas will help to alleviate the feeling of being alone. With these connections we can plan coffee dates, or make dinner arrangements to foster relationships with one another in the profession.
Moral of this story, connect with people, both for you and for the benefit of others. You never know the positive impacts your connections might have on someone else!
Thanks for reading my first entry! Stay tuned for more ways to tell your colleagues, You Go Girl (or Boy)!
By Amanda Wallin