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Networking Is Not Just for Schmoozing

Networking Is Not Just for Schmoozing

I’ve attended some great conferences over the last few months. In August, I’m helping put on PodCamp Boston, and then in September, I’m attending the Podcast and Portable Media Expo in California (LifeHack.org readers: if you want to meet up while I’m out there, get in touch!). What I’ve learned through these experiences is that networking is an important component for getting things done in the current “creative class” economy.

Guilds– In feudal times, same-craft artisans gathered and pooled their resources around guilds. One part union, one part classroom, one part price fixing, guilds were a way for people to learn about jobs through a network: “Hey Philip, there’s a castle going up over in Hamptonshire. Bring your chisels.”

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As programmers and project managers and lawyers and (what DO You do- add a comment) artists and writers, you fill a certain niche at your organization. Maybe you’re a freelancer (also a feudal term). You are fulfilling a role within the organization, but it’s not like your coworkers understand the nuances of what you do, especially not in the way others doing the same job somewhere else will understand. It makes sense, then, to gather with others of your skillset and share stories, point each other to potential new work, and just keep people in mind.

The A-Team–  “If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire: THE A-TEAM” What would that show have been like if that black van were full of ONLY B.A. Baracus types? Sure, you’d have the brute muscle, but you’d lack the charisma of Face, the crazy tech skills of Murdoch, the… what DID Hannibal do? Oh, the leadership of Hannibal.

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Meeting people out at events gives you a chance to form your own meta-teams, especially on projects that don’t always relate to your day job. Are you a brilliant systems administrator but lack any understanding of how to code software? Do you need a finance person to help you understand how much funding you need? Attending events and finding other ways of networking with others outside your organization will help you find people to build that new team.

Not Job Hunting, Job Fishing- I forget where I read this term. I’m not trying to coin it. It’s someone else’s. But the idea of job fishing is that instead of having to go out and actively hunt for your next job, you use networking to lay out some possible paths for finding a new job. Job fishing is like casting a big net, and then seeing what fish/jobs come back to you. The old saying goes: Give a man a fish, and he’ll have smelly hands.

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I added a starter set of tips for networking on our wiki. Click HERE to read/ add to the list.

-Chris Brogan would love to meet you. Drop him a line after visiting [chrisbrogan.com]

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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