Introducing The Salisbury Young Chamber

By Anoushka Twining  

“It’s not what you know, but who you know”

While a true sentiment this does little to help you go about building a network. We all know the significance of having those all-important relationships with people both in and outside of our business areas. It is these people we can turn to and rely upon for help, advice or services beyond our own capabilities that define many of our successes. And who you can turn to depends on who’ve you met, who you have invested time in and who you have been able to establish a connection with. But knowing all this does not always translate in practical terms. Knowing you need a network is sadly not enough in creating one. For young professionals in particular, those just embarking on new careers, it can feel like there is limited advice and opportunities to develop that all important network outside of the workplace, but luckily that is not the case. Enter Salisbury Young Chamber.

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Salisbury Young Chamber are here to facilitate the necessary connections for young, like minded ambitious individuals to reach the top of their respective empires. In addition to our free quarterly events the Young Chamber blog is here to add to the service provided and help further you in your professional lives. Once a month we will address the key topics and experiences faced by young professionals, we will be host to our quarterly speakers allowing you access to their expertise online and through our exceptional events, and we will also be inviting you, our membership, to share your experiences, advice and wisdom too. We have forthcoming issues lined up which will include a thorough introduction to your Young Chamber Working Group, navigating a networking event, understanding your interaction style, and achieving your professional goals, among many more topics that will help you in your professional lives.

The Young Chamber was set up in 2015, and in its 1 and a half years the reach of membership has grown to over 200 members, across 160 companies and entrepreneurs, in 70 professions. With our membership ranging in age, interests, sectors and location there is much to gain from the rich membership in addition to the first class speakers. We are proud to have engaged local award winning businesses, entrepreneurs, franchisees and the hardworking employees of many of our local businesses, all of whom are contributing to the bright commercial future of this area and who continue to involve themselves with the Young Chamber network and our cause. It is the mission of the Young Chamber to facilitate an open and stimulatingenvironment where young business people can network informally as well as take away specific skills and lessons from speakers. Coming from such varied professional and personal backgrounds, the 3 things you can guarantee all our working group members have in common are: their enthusiasm in the Young Chamber and its success going forward; the passion for the work they do and developing the skills they have; and their ambition to better themselves in their fields through personal and professional development. With a driving force like this behind every Young Chamber event, you know that as a Young Chamber member you are getting access to the best in professional development, brought to you by the very people who are carving the way in becoming the next young leaders in their business. Follow their lead and engage with all they have to offer and you too can excel with help from your new network, new skills and new confidence. Without further ado, it is time to meet your working group members:

Dan

If my professional career has taught me one thing, it is to know people. Lots of them, varying on different levels with different experiences. Meet, greet, talk, listen, learn, seek and always want more. As by doing so, they can influence how you succeed. 

Whilst I may be responsible for the young chamber it is just that, as it is alongside my brilliant co-founders, that we have established this fantastic networking group that offers you the opportunity to know the right people. I am incredibly proud of its evolution and everybody involved with it.

For those thinking the young chamber might be for the elite or simply too daunting to attend, it’s certainly not. We are all approachable, we are friendly and are there to help remove the formalities of networking and help you form longstanding business and most importantly social connections. 

I would be delighted to meet you all, I work in property currently as well as having a background in sales and marketing and business development. Equally, if you find me on the evening and are a follower of rugby, you'll have my ear for life! 

It is through the formation of the young chamber and the events themselves that have enabled me to learn a significant amount about leadership, I have grown and developed as a person and I implore you to experience what is on offer. 

Richard Branson once delivered the famous quote 'If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and you're not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later!’ Let us give you your opportunity.

Graeme 

“Graeme, tell us a little bit about yourself.”

 Ugh…… Why is this little question so hard to answer? Perhaps because I feel I’m complicated and I’m being asked – usually on the spot – to make myself sound simple. Or maybe because there’s an element about it that always makes me feel like I’m supposed to be selling myself.

My background is in various industry’s from Graphic Design to Naval Service to Insurance but networking, no experience, and totally afraid. Go figure.

Turns out I was not the only person who doesn't like to walk into a room full of strangers and bare their soul. There are many people who are uncomfortable opening up to people they've never met, and asking for their help.
In today's interconnected world, there are many ways to reach out to people. For example, you can use email or the telephone. We can use social networking for its speed and ability to meet people we may have not met otherwise.

Social Media

Live interaction with people is important too because we build connections and long term relationships. 
If networking is not for you, then it's not for you. Live by what you believe in, accept your belief, and move on.


But, if like me, you know deep down inside that not reaching out to others is holding you back and keeping you from getting what you want in your career, then it's time to face and conquer your networking demons
That’s what I did and in 2016 I helped co-found The Salisbury and District Young Chamber. I’ve made connections, I’ve made friends and more importantly I’ve grown confident, helping me in my own career to be successful.

Sophie

I was asked to be a Co-Founder at The Salisbury and District Young Chamber in its infancy, prior to the first event (it has gone so quickly!!). The group has grown and developed during the last year and a half and it is so encouraging to have over 200 people signed up for events so far. One of the most important parts of my role as a Recruitment Consultant at Personnel Placements is to network. It meant pushing through my comfort zone and developing my ability to say hello to strangers; which is so odd to begin with so I fully understand “the fear”!

 My hesitation when developing the idea of Young Chamber came from my understanding of people’s reluctance to network, especially people from my age group. Networking has a bad name, I think people associate it with egoism and awkward, overly professional conversations but the reality is much simpler and friendlier. Regardless of your role or whether you can benefit from networking straight away, it is a great confidence boost to overcome this hurdle (and personally I believe it looks great on your CV).

 My background has been varied, prior to my role at Personnel Placements, I worked in an Interior Design company. I have also worked in the financial sector, education, retail and a cocktail bar. We have a diverse range of people from different professions, joining for different reasons but everyone started in the same boat and were probably equally as nervous.

 Going forward, I am hopeful that we will vary our events and keep it as interesting and exciting as the last year has been. We love seeing new faces and are always interested in hearing ideas so please get in touch if you have any questions or need a friendly face if you are walking in for the first time. 

Keith

In 1984, I started a recruitment business called Secretarial Placements (now called Personnel Placements).  I borrowed £4,000 from the bank (unsecured).  You can’t do that now.  I had given up my job, my wife (Julie) was pregnant with our first child.  I made a letterhead from “letraset” (most of you won’t know what that is) and my typewriter, with an 8K memory, had the O missing, which made a hole in the paper every time I typed the letter!!!  Why am I telling you all this?  Simple, with no money and two and half mouths to feed, you have to get out there and network your business.  I get the “fear” of networking.  As a child I had a stutter. Not a great attribute for networking!!!  I worked hard and believed that I could overcome my fear.  The best way to overcome it, is to do it.

 When Dan, Sophie and Graeme, the original team to start SYC, came up with the idea, I volunteered, with Tim, to help and mentor them.  I wish something like SYC existed when I started.  They have done a great job.  I will help where I can.  I am still learning. My business is 33 years old now.  What I do know is that when you network, don’t expect anything in return.  Ask, how can I help you?  I promise you it will help.  At times, I still have the stutter!!!

Tim

I seem to come at everything late in life, so I’m firmly in the ‘if only I’d known that when I was younger’ camp.

Although I’m a lawyer now and have been for 20 years, I’ve worked in advertising, on a shop floor in a pie factory, in a microbiology lab, in QA in a cold store and in a burger joint underneath a rollercoaster in Santa Cruz, California.  Self-confidence has never really been my thing, despite appearances to the contrary; but through the Chamber, and particularly the Young Chamber I’ve learned so much about finding my own voice and overcoming my basic shyness so that I can make the most of the opportunities which are out there; and which will stand me in good stead in new business ventures which are beckoning.  It’s great that there’s so many people like you and me, who all want to get on and can grow together.  There was nothing like that when I started, only bullying and alcohol.  So come along and find out more about yourself and that you’re not alone.

Robin 

Prior to starting out as a Quantity Surveyor, I had a number of dead end jobs to fill the time it took for me to work out what on earth I was going to do with my life. In my early twenties, while working in a particularly boring administration position, somebody mentioned that surveying was a steady career that paid more than what I was earning at that time. That was enough for me to sign up for a distance learning degree and start applying for trainee QS roles without much (any!) research into my newly chosen career. Definitely not the best motives for choosing your lifelong career! Luckily for me I got to work with some fantastic people and I happened to enjoy surveying. I now run my own Salisbury based surveying business, Trevett Professional Services, and its growth is nearly all attributable to my professional network.

 I first attended a SYC event in January this year and was bowled over not just by the number of attendees and how professionally organised it was, but also how welcoming and friendly everyone was from the moment you walked in. So much so, I offered that very evening to join the team and be a part of SYC going forwards. It can be a daunting thought if you haven’t been to a networking event before (and even if you’ve been to a lot!) but trust me, you will be so glad you came. I hope to see you at our next event!

Anoushka

Networking: teachers, careers advisors, recruiters, lecturers, colleagues, friends and family have all been preaching the importance of having one to me for years. I wouldn’t say that the advice fell on deaf ears, just slightly awkward and anxious ears. I understand the concept, I even know the techniques, but I lack the confidence to put it to good practice.
Straight out of university, proudly sporting a pair of post-graduation rose-tinted glasses I approached the Young Chamber the way I have approached most things in my life: if it’s out of my comfort zone then I’m going to have a go, what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger! But to my surprise and delight, networking with Young Chamber could not have been easier. Compared to the competitive arenas of university career events, my first Young Chamber event was empowering and confidence building (and it was not just a one off fluke, they’re all like that!). The open and informal setting put even me, not the most confident of people, at ease and allowed me to naturally find a place where I wasn’t intimidated to speak to other people or participate. My inner (and often outer) awkwardness just fell away. I requested to join the working party that night! I am heading off to pastures new, but after just 1 year in Salisbury and with the Young Chamber I am already optimistic, and I go in the knowledge that I have a network of people here who I can return to at any time for advice, expertise or for a cheeky after work pint. Take it from me, Salisbury Young Chamber is offering something no one else is!

With a genuine investment in creating an atmosphere in which professional individuals can establish strong networks, the Young Chamber events follow a fool proof recipe for success. Making your introductions and meeting other event attendees, obligatory publicity photos for the new Instagram and the chance to wind down after the working day all set a more relaxed tone for the evening. Especially among less experience networkers, a more informal atmosphere is essential to allowing a person’s true colours to shine as they embark on forging new relationships. A carefully selected and highly regarded guest speaker is the centre of the evening’s proceedings, and thus far the names have not disappointed. Experts in their respective fields, the speakers are thoughtfully selected to bring something new to each event. Be it empowering your ambitions and fighting your setbacks, igniting your inner leader, or enabling you to find you voice in public speaking you will not leave feeling disappointed. For networking events like no other, brought to you by people who are genuinely interested in meeting you and building a lasting network that will work for each and every one of its members, then you’re in the right place.

And our next event is sure to fit that profile. Leading career development and recruitment specialist Kate O’Hara will be joining us at Koh Thai Tapas on 25th July. A truly interactive evening, Kate will be helping you identify your business personality and interaction style, as well as exploring your personal and career motivators including career anchors. Don’t miss this chance to network with other Salisbury and area based professionals as well as this exclusive chance to find out more about your personality profile.

Your Colour

In our next blog Kate will be elaborating on business personality types and the content of her upcoming event with us, so make sure you follow Salisbury Young Chamber on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram to keep up with our latest news and blog releases.

We look forward to Setting Up for Success with you on 25th July.

You can book your space here. http://ow.ly/93wo30cBNKL

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