No matter how much you know in life, it will never come close to the importance of PEOPLE.
I’ve written a similar topic about this before on the importance of being able to learn to deal with people in the workplace environment. This particular case focuses more on the KNOWING of people rather than learning to deal with them.
What I find so troublesome in colleges is how much people are just constantly studying but never making the time and effort to expand their network of people.
The more they enclose themselves in “studying” on their craft, others might be out making friends that could possibly gain them a better position over the person who won’t stop studying (nerds).
I’m not just talking about friendships, I’m talking about reaching out to others who are already in your dream job.
If your goal is to be in their position at some point in your life, reach out to them and ask them how they did it. Even if the response is something like “a lot of hard work, dedication, and constant studying” at least now you have an advantage over them, you have THEM! Am I right?
I always find it so interesting how I came to get my current job as a web content developer. I was constantly studying in college, never much willing reach out to anyone, but my advantage came through my network of people I knew from my church. I was lucky, to say the least because if I didn’t have that church I’d be living in the same room I grew up in back in my small hometown with my parents. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I had to grow up and be on my own and landing this job that I have now provided me that opportunity to grow and mature.
“Networking” with others doesn’t start in your senior year of college. Start as early as possible and get a gauge of what you want to do in your limited time in college (trust me it’s limited even though it feels like ten years).
Networking, making friends, reaching out, all these will only benefit you and the worst thing that could happen is that someone says “no” (or some rendition of that like “screw off”). You’d be surprised at the number of people willing to give you advice on how to get you where you want to be.
Now that you’re in the job, you might think “this is it, I’m done, I’ve gotten to where I want to be.” Is this really the case though?
Companies have layoffs all the time, people get fired unexpectedly, life throws you for a loop with twists and turns you never asked for. Just like my life right now.
Why not expand the network of people you know so that you can at some point, take advantage of their value to you later on? Now, I’m not suggesting that you USE these people. NO.
If you’re not genuine in trying to actually get to know people and give them value just as much as they would be giving you, then it’s quite apparent. I’ve seen people in the workplace “kiss up” to other people around them and I’ve been guilty of the same. I think it just comes naturally to us to do this. It’s probably part of our ancestorial genetics where we need to expand our network in order to survive. Don’t take my word for it though, I’m just a dude in a room with a computer and a cat mug next to me.
Have fun learning more about others, socializing, being available for others. Because in the end, what’s life without people? It’d be like, going to Disneyland with no one around but yourself, which sounds more scary than fun and I realized that this wasn’t a great analogy.
Go along for the ride with other people. I mean, who doesn’t feel good when they could say something like “I know a guy/lady”?
Remember, anyone could have an awesome skill, but not everyone has great people around them.
HAVE FUN DOING IT.