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Local Professionals are Making Big Changes in a Small Group

by ARLnow.com — November 12, 2015 at 6:00 am 0

Belleconnecta group shot

Belleconnecta
Founder: Alison Cardy
www.belleconnecta.com

Do you wish you had a group of fellow professionals who could help you with your career and personal goals?

Alison Cardy did, and that’s why she started Belleconnecta.

Cardy describes Belleconnecta simply as “A community of women who are interested in improving their lives in some way.”

What these women have in common is that they’re professionals living in Northern Virginia who want to increase their sense of community and make positive changes in their lives.

Cardy’s main work is as a career coach who specializes in guiding men and women through career transitions. Cardy has been doing this work for almost seven years, and while she enjoys helping people with their careers and giving specialized advice, she wanted to connect with clients and the local community in an ongoing way.

So in January, with the encouragement of several of her friends and clients, Cardy launched Belleconnecta’s first six month women’s coaching cohort.

The members meet once a month for a structured coaching workshop over dinner. Cardy provides frameworks and exercises that can be applied to any area of life, and members work through this material together and share their insights with one another. They also have a monthly group phone call to share updates and reconnect to the improvements they’re focusing on. Cardy says these two touchpoints mean clients’ goals are never too far from their minds.

“Most things in life improve with attention. This program is really about giving yourself the time and space to pay attention to your life, so that you can make the changes you want to see,” Cardy said. “In addition, the program emphasizes courage. A lot of what we want is on the other side of a hard or scary action. It’s so much easier to take those uncomfortable steps that will really move your life forward when you know there’s a group of wonderful women right beside you cheering you on.”

Cardy was pleased with the outcomes from the session that started in January. Healthy routines were implemented, closets were organized, boundaries were set, outlooks were improved, leadership opportunities at work were snagged, and cross country moves were embarked on. She is wrapping up her second cohort this December and will be launching a new group in January.

There is a second component to the Belleconnecta community. Cardy puts on a personal Self Care Day for Belleconnecta members and the general public a couple times a year. The next one is on December 12 at the Lyon Park Community Center in Clarendon.

“For most of us we think ‘self-care’ and wind up coming home and watching TV at the end of a long day,” Cardy said. “This is more active. It’s a time and space to reflect, a day to recharge and reconnect.”

Cardy knows hers isn’t the only group that provides space for area professionals to connect with one another. But these groups tend to be framed around industry specific professional development or networking events, where it’s often hard to get past small talk level connections.

“I’m so attracted to the in-person format where you get to see the same people every month and talk about things that really matter, because it allows connections to strengthen much more easily,” Cardy said. “This is something the average professional can participate in, get a great result, have a good time and make new friends.”

To receive an invitation to Belleconnecta’s next coaching cohort Open House and a community discount to Self Care Day, join the Belleconnecta community at www.belleconnecta.com.

The preceding was a sponsored profile written by Eleanor Greene for ARLnow.com.

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