About two years ago, a friend who'd recently read The Happiness Project suggested forming a writers' strategy group (just as author Gretchen Rubin writes of doing with her friends). The idea was that we would meet to discuss career building questions and problems and hopefully come up with solutions together, in addition to sharing contacts.
I liked the idea. I'd been part of "writers' groups" before, but many were about critiquing each others' work. I already had editors who did enough of that. I was hoping for career insights from other people who were in the same field. Over the next year or so (before a handful of us moved away) we met every 2 months. I got a lot out of it -- including several assignments, which more than compensated for the time invested in the group.
Once upon a time, people may have been able to see clear career ladders. The title of "senior account executive" came after "junior account executive," much as day follows night. In that world, there's less need for people facing similar career issues to meet and network and strategize -- particularly people who don't work for the same company.
But the modern world of work is no longer like that. We have colleagues, but colleagues can change quickly. We all need people with whom we share lateral loyalties to look out for us within our industries. We need other people thinking through our problems, and we need to test our own ideas on other people's issues.
So who's in your strategy group? If you don't have one, who would you invite?