Make New Friends, But Keep The Old

When I was a little girl in Girl Scouts, we learned a song that still rings true today. “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.” Young or old, this song reminds us to expand our horizons and reach out and welcome new contacts, coworkers and friends into our lives.

Last month, I had the pleasure of participating in the industry’s very first virtual trade show, CleaningGreen Virtual Conference & Expo. Like other jan/san shows, I had the opportunity to visit manufacturer booths and attend educational sessions, but from the comfort of my own office.

The education and information available was priceless, but what might have been equally as important were the contacts that I made through networking. While visiting the various booths and repeatedly stopping by the networking lounge, I connected with an exorbitant number of in-house managers, many of which were kind enough to continue chatting with me throughout the day.

During our discussions, I learned specifically what various departments are doing to push or maintain green initiatives, as well as challenges managers are facing due to the economy. Through this interaction, I met some outstanding individuals that I have already learned a great deal from. Comparing their experiences with others I already speak with regularly has given me even greater insight into the in-house industry.

What’s my point? Well, you undoubtedly have contacts within the industry that you touch base with from time to time, but you could probably use more. Networking offers new perspectives and the opportunity to bounce ideas, share experiences and best practices. Take advantage and capitalize on every opportunity that presents itself.