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...over-educated and under-experienced, or so they say...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

To Network Or Not To Network...

...that is the question.
If there is one thing that I'm not very good at, it's networking.  It's a shame, really, because even in my journey between academia and business I've seen that the people that network get farther faster than those of us who don't (even if they aren't as "good" at what they do).

The networker has an entirely different skill set.  I don't want to call it brown nosing -- they aren't necessarily moving on up to the east side because they know how to suck up well.  And I don't want to call it charisma because there are plenty networkers that have the charisma of a dirt clod.  I think it's just because... they have no fear.

When I say fear I'm not talking about apprehension, there is a difference: one can be apprehensive and doubt the self occasionally, but still shake it off and move forward.    When I say fear, at least in this sense, I'm talking about Fear Of Failure -- that moment when you let doubt get the best of you and so you just stay in your seat instead of rise up and position yourself into the best place to shine.  They may struggle with doubt and the "what if" factor here and there, but their confidence far outweighs their fear of failure, and, in fact, they may even have that moment where they are convinced they may fail and they may totally fall on their face, but... what do they have to lose?  If they just sit there in the corner and do nothing and say nothing and refuse to put themselves out there, failure is inevitable.  But... if they get up and take their portfolio down the hall and shake hands with some people and tell their story to some people they may eventually meet the right people with the right doors at the right time that are ready to open and take them where they want to go.

I have confidence in a lot of my talents and abilities, but my flaw is often sitting in my corner and believing my work will speak for itself.  What I'm saying there is, what good is work that speaks for itself if all it has to speak to is four walls in room that no one enters but me?

I don't have a lot of dreams left.

I gave up the cow girl dream that I had at five years old after my mom told me that John Wayne wasn't really a cow boy, he was just an actor, and he was dead.

I gave up my dream of being a doctor after I sat through anatomy class and they told us we were going to dissect some cadavers right after I had a quiz on the Latin terms for every section of bone in the skull.

I gave up my dream of being a rock star after I dropped out of college for a year to go chase it down and realized that, unlike Jewel, I wasn't willing to live in my van on the boardwalk in Ocean Beach and hope lightening strikes the same coffee house twice.

And at this point I've pretty much given up my dream of having a solid male partner in my personal corner of the world (well, I haven't completely thrown that one out but ... it's definitely sitting in the closet where I fully intend to leave it to do little more than collect dust).

I have one left... I think you all know what it is...  And so, I must, on some level, learn to network.

I must throw fear of failure to the wind and give it all I've got.  And if I fall on my face, if I fail, then at least I have a solid day job.  But if I lay on my death bed in the future and say something along the lines of, "I never really did give that one a fair shot," then I failed by my own doing.

That being said... please do me a favor and go "LIKEmy Mixed Number facebook page.  Still trying to figure out what I'm going to do with that thing, but it's up and it was a long time coming.  I'm working on Google Plus and I'll probably make my way around to Twitter sooner or later.  (yes, I'm trying not to throw up right now, but... I see the networkers... I see them winning... and... as I move forward with writing projects, both inside and outside of this blog, I have to admit that I'd like to join them)

And .... "we thank you for your support."

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