All posts in Career Transition

20 Jan 2014

My Night with Felix and George: Thank You for a Great Bash

goq_home_1 A few weeks ago Felix Global hosted a fun social event at George restaurant in downtown Toronto.

Felix is a wonderful corporation that helps organizations with talent and leadership solutions.  I am one of their career transition coaching consultants.

I had a few butterflies in my stomach as I walked along Queen Street to the event. I did not know too many people in the company and had never been to the restaurant before. I was hoping to connect with the few people I knew from the office, maybe share a drink with the boss, and be on my way.

It was a cold walk and I had just finished a very long week of business travel and coaching. I actually debated just turning around and heading home and put on some tea.

Then I walked through the doors of George.

Wow.

George is a beautiful, elegant restaurant.

There were warm comfortable chairs, intricate designs on tall glass windows and gentle lighting throughout. The staff was very welcoming and I immediately recognized my colleagues in the dining lounge. The food turned out to be spectacular, involving lobster, sea bass, quinoa and avocado. Near the end I enjoyed a delightful coconut dessert that I still can’t seem to get out of my mind. And, as it turned out, I did not at all feel like an outsider. The hosts from Felix Global went out of their way to make everyone feel very special. I was very much included, even celebrated, by my colleagues and the leadership of Felix.

Janet Blaha and Mary Legakis Engel at Felixbash 2014

Janet Blaha and Mary Legakis Engel at Felixbash 2014

Less than a year ago I did not know anyone at this company. I remember actually cold calling the vice president from my home office hoping that I could just share a little about my services. Everything worked out and here I was sitting with a new group of friends in one of the top restaurants of Toronto. Near the beginning of the evening they announced a twitter competition. As many of you know, I love twitter and have been tweeting for a few years now. So I was eager to jump in and see if I could win a prize. I started sending out greetings and hashtags (#felixbash #felixfoto) with exclamation marks including @felixglobal and @georgeonqueen.

I took photos of my colleagues and my dinner and launched them into the twittersphere before the main course was even served. I soon noticed that the twitter posts were being projected onto a giant screen at the front of the room. Soon a few people started to notice my little twitter icon repeatedly popping up. The other ladies at my table seemed to get a kick out of it.

Guess what?  I won!

The vice president of the company, Mr. John Higgins, invited me up in front of everyone to present me with a bottle of Amarone Italian wine. While he was doing this, someone clicked on my twitter profile and suddenly the entire room was looking at my twitter numbers. That Friday I had 23.4K followers. I don’t ever make a big deal out of it, but I think it was pretty impressive to some of the people there that I have so many followers. You can follow me at @janetblaha.

As I returned to my seat (and my deliciously decadent coconut banana cream dessert) I was inundated with questions about how I accomplished this. This made me smile. To tell the truth, it is all about consistency and dedication. I will have to write a blog about some of the tips of twitter in the future. I confess I am a bit of twitter-bug. But it was very nice to attend an event feeling appreciated and honored for simply showing up and being myself. As I walked to the subway I realized that the butterflies had been replaced with lobster and the cool winter air had very little effect on my warm grateful heart.

Fun at the Felix Bash

Fun at the Felix Bash

Thank you John, Laurie, Surekha and all the others at Felix Global. It is clear you appreciate the people connected with your company. Thank you for a wonderful evening. (And I really appreciate the wine!)

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