Networking is both a necessary tool and useful skill that everyone utilizes at some point in their careers. For many people however, networking can be a dreadful process of meaningless small talk which one hopes to exchange for some type of career chit which is why it can feel forced and contrived. And if that is how you feel about networking, then I can assure you that you probably aren’t going about it in the right way. I would even venture to say that your style of networking is probably ineffectual and I doubt that it is bearing any meaningful fruit.
I am on vacation this week at my friend’s Lake House in the Adirondacks which is a Cool Thing in itself. Thanks Damian for being such a generous friend and graciously lending me your lake house for the week! This is the place that I came to work on my book two years ago. It is truly a writer’s paradise.
Equally as important as the role you have, is the manager to whom you report. Your manager can make or break your career; a good manager can give you the support and exposure you need to attain the recognition you deserve while a bad manager could set you so far back that it could take years to recover. Not only does your manager determine your fate within the company, but they are responsible for setting the tone of the working environment which impacts the culture of the department.
Life is moving at a fast and furious pace and if we don't stop for a moment in order to acknowledge the cool things that we experience then they vanish from our minds. In an effort to give these moments a longer life span, I thought that I would jot them down and share them with you. So here is a short list of what I’ve seen, heard, read or did this week that may either interesting, useful or just plain fun.
During the summer between my junior and senior years of high school, my mom got me a job at her insurance company in Livingston, NJ. It was the subrogation unit, independently run by a man whom we called Mr. Famular. The subro business was booming and Mr. Famular needed additional help, so I recommended my best friend who was home from college for the summer. We were trained by one of the other summer students who had worked there several summers before and had more knowledge and greater tenure. Mr. Famular gave us a fair amount of autonomy and so we were mostly left to our own devices. As such, the lack of an influential force allowed our personal personalities to shape our professional demeanors.
Since I wrote about impostor syndrome, I have received a number of emails with people sharing their own personal stories; it even became a topic of conversation at a party that went to last weekend. I therefore thought it might be worthwhile to unpack this further because impostor syndrome is only one of the many symptoms that result from a lack of self-confidence.