Networking Professional Christy Conner Offers Tips on Career-Building Connecting

Published : Monday, August 7, 2017 | 3:14 PM

Pasadena-based global strategic operations executive Christy Conner, who co-organizes Friday Coffee Meetups with technology nonprofit Innovate Pasadena, believes resilience, the courage to always take the next step, and “finding beauty wherever you look,” are some of the most important attributes that people who want to succeed at networking should possess, aside from the fortune of being in a community that is “welcoming and interested in how we can help one another.”

Conner also believes finding “elements that you love in the networking process” helps create success and makes it an easier and enjoyable experience. For her, among the elements that she loves in the process are “being able to learn about fascinating things people are creating” to help others.

Interviewed by Innovate Pasadena’s Brandee Pierce, Conner says she finds much inspiration in the variety and volume of innovation in the City, as co-organizer of the group’s Friday Coffee Meetups.

“We have innovation at all levels – from the large institutions like Caltech, NASA/JPL, ArtCenter to commercial entities, and a vibrant grassroots meetup community,” Conner says. “There are opportunities at all levels to be involved in and inspired by innovation.”

The founder of 7Verre, a professional business management services organization located in Pasadena, calls herself an introvert who used to hate networking but now has learned to love it. She admits she still feels intimidated by the idea and the challenges that come with beginning to network – challenges, she says, that do not recognize gender. She has, however, been able to surmount the challenges every time.

“For me, networking challenges fall along personality types as opposed to gender lines,” Conner says. “My advice to both genders is the same – just get out there and do it! And then follow up once you make the connection.”

Co-organizing Innovate Pasadena’s Friday Coffee Meetups has given Conner opportunities to not only meet with other entrepreneurs and learn from them but also to see new ideas and new inspiration in her own pursuits.

“Being inspired each week through the Friday Coffee Meetup makes my leadership in work and life even stronger,” Conner says. “Having an outside source of inspiring innovation beyond my work brings me exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking.”

Asked if she ever struggles with anything after having worked with nonprofits, for tech companies in various stages, and being a community builder and organizer, Conner said she’s more surprised than struggling with the realization that, even now at this point in her life and career, she is ever evolving and that each stage in her life “will be fluid and contain this continual self-definition.”

“I have had to let go of the idea that I will ever fit nicely in a box and embrace what I want to explore at this stage in life – creating new things, connecting people and things to create innovative new relationships and conducting business operations so that they flow beautifully like music,” Conner says.

And does she ever remember a time when networking yielded for her a big pay-off?

She says, “I have received new roles and great friends through networking but now the payoff for me is when I can help someone else. When someone tells me that I have helped them create a new piece of business, a new collaboration, or find a new position – that makes my day!”

Innovate Pasadena’s Friday Coffee Meetups are every Friday, 8:15 a.m. at Cross Campus Pasadena.

On Connect Week 2017, Conner will be co-hosting Speed Networking with Alec Miller for Innovate Pasadena. Connect Week usually happens in October but no details have been announced at this time.






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