April 20, 2008

A New Approach

Posted in Careers, Life tagged , , at 8:33 pm by Lindsay

Read With The Lobsters! – Every weekend, Katelyn and Lindsay discuss the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi in an effort to sharpen networking skills.

Networking is no longer a dirty word. 

Until now, I’ve always felt that networking was just a nice way of saying “using people” and I’m sure to some people, that’s all it is.  But Ferrazzi explains that in reality, networking is all about helping people.  He says,

“The more people you help, the more help you’ll have and the more help you’ll have helping others.  It’s like the Internet.  The more people who have access, and use it, the more valuable the Internet becomes.” Page 16

When you think of networking in this light, it becomes easier and more fun.  View networking as a way of contributing value to the whole group, and know that you are not the only beneficient.  The more people you help, the greater your network of connections become.  No matter what level of your career you’re at, there are always people you can help.  Keep your eyes open for situations where you can be of service to a friend or colleague. 

Ferrazzi says that another way to make networking more positive is to involve your passions in the process.  He suggests ideas like bringing someone along to participate in a shared hobby or a mid-day coffee break at a cafe – something other than a standing meeting in an office.  I think this is a great way to shift the focus onto making a friend, instead of just making a business connection.  It’ll make the relationship more personal and more beneficial for all involved. 

What are your views about networking?  What are the best ways you’ve found to connect with people?

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April 17, 2008

Following Your Bliss

Posted in Careers, Life tagged , , at 11:03 pm by Lindsay

Read With The Lobsters! – Every weekend, Katelyn and Lindsay discuss the book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi in an effort to sharpen networking skills.

Okay, so I’m a little late with this post, but that’s what I get for waiting until the last minute to do my taxes.

The concept that jumped out at me the most was Ferrazzi’s idea of the “blue flame”.  He says,

“We all have our own loves, insecurities, strengths, weaknesses, and unique capabilities.  And we have to take those into account in figuring where our talents and desires intersect.  That intersection is what I call your ‘blue flame’ – where passion and ability come together.  When that blue flame is ignited within a person, it is a powerful force in getting you where you want to go.” Page 26

 So often the question of what we’re meant to do in life or what career will make us happiest is overwhelming.  This “blue flame” idea is a great way to go about answering those questions.  You make a list of your greatest joys and another list of your greatest strengths, and wherever those criss-cross can lead you to a career you’ll be passionate about.  This can also be a great red flag as to your fufillment in your current job.  If you make a list of the things you’re passionate about and your current career isn’t related to any of those passions, chances are you’re not as fulfilled from work as you could be. 

The hardest part for me is not discovering what I’m passionate about, but discovering what I’m most passionate about.  I’m the type of person that when I like things, I like them a lot.  (Any Journey fans out there??)  So when I think about my passions, I end up with a longer list than I know what to do with.  I suppose this is a good problem to have, but I really can never decide what my ultimate passion is.  In a previous post called “Question My Sanity“, Katelyn and others made lists of daring career and life choices that could replace their current plans.  I believe I would be truly happy doing any of those things I listed.  I also am quite happy in my current field.  Which one of these is my truest passion?  How do I decide? 

Maybe I don’t have to.  It would be no use to me to put pressure on myself to decide which path I should pursue if that means not taking the time to enjoy the one I’m on.  It’d kind of be like worrying about how to be happy instead of just being happy.  I like my field.  It’s exciting and interesting and I have a steady income.  So for now, I’ll just enjoy it.  If there ever comes a time when I’m not as thrilled, I have those other fields to try my hand at.  In the meantime, I’ll work in those other passions as extra-curriculars.   

How about you guys?  Is anyone else torn between more than one passion?  Do you wonder whether there’s a career that you would like more or be more suited to?