Chicago is one of my most favorite cities in the world! It is diverse and has an enormous amount of character. For professionals who choose to relocate to the Windy City, here are a few tips that may help with your transition:
1. Chicago – like most cities – is a relationship-driven city. It is very important that you establish strong, healthy relationships with your peers, gain the respect of those your report to, and earn the trust of your direct reports right away.
2. Leave the inflated ego on the tarmac. A common mistake is to believe that your accomplishments somewhere else will automatically garner respect or favor here; nothing could be further from the truth. While you may be impressive, you have to earn your stripes. If not, you could be isolated and left to fend for yourself. Most of what you gain in Chicago is earned – good or bad.
3. Be mindful of your tone. It is not what you say but how you say it. Being aggressive and assertive carries the risk of sliding off the slippery slope. So when developing your network, relationships and reputation, make sure your tone is not condescending, critical and accusatory. Those three things will place you in the quarantine pool quickly.
4. Stay above the fray. Getting involved in gossip and having an opinion too soon often backfires, so hush.
5. Socializing is key to others getting to know you. You have to be someone that others know, like and trust. Connect with your peers and executives in settings that allow them to experience a more authentic back you.
Well, there you have it. Five tips that should make your professional transition to Chicago more pleasurable and successful. Welcome to Chicago and good luck!