Networking Can Happen Everywhere

Author: Michelle Ioannou, Career Advice

Networking is a pretty common term in the world of career advice and the job hunt. It can even be a word that intimidates people. How can I network? How do I grow my network? What is networking and how do I do it?

Well, millennials, networking can happen with anyone, anywhere. There’s no set rules or locations where it has to happen. Think about it — you meet people everywhere, don’t you? Well, meeting people is exactly how you grow your network.

Yes, that’s it. Meet someone new. Strike up a conversation. Ask them what they do, and 90% of the time they’ll ask you what you do as well. You never know what connections this new person may have or what influence this person him or herself may have. A simple hello can go a long way, whether it’s online or offline.

Of course, networking does happen in professional settings. But, it doesn’t always have to.

Social Media
Interact with people on social media! We’ve already discussed how Twitter can get you freelance gigs, and well, how do you think that happens? Because of networking. Interact with people on social media — start conversations, ask them what they do, share relevant articles. Show off your knowledge on a particular subject and have people take notice. There are so many different people from so many different backgrounds in so many different industries on social — and they can all be reached on one platform. How amazing is that? Use it to your advantage.

Morning routines 
Do you stop at the same coffee shop every morning? Same bagel shop? Take the same train or bus every day? You’re bound to see familiar faces. Don’t just shrug them off and be bitter that you have to go to work — smile and say hello. They’re probably off to work as well, and probably not the happiest about it, either. Ask them where they’re headed or what they do. Who knows, maybe they’re off to a place where you want to be.

Dating apps
Think about it, when someone strikes up a conversation with you on a dating app or website, isn’t one of the first things asked “so, what do you do?” Tell them what you do. If it’s not in your bio, put it in your bio. Who knows, even if there’s nothing there romantically, maybe something professionally can unfold. I know you’re probably laughing right now at the thought, but you truly never know.

Traveling 
If you’re stuck on an airplane, train, or bus next to someone you don’t know, strike up a conversation. No, of course don’t wake them up or disturb them if they immediately sit down and put their headphones in or go to sleep. But, if they don’t, talk to them. Ask them why they’re going to wherever you’re going to. Ask them what they do. Traveling, especially long distances, can be a great opportunity to add someone new to your network.

When You Can't People

When You Just Can’t People, But You Have to

Adulting, Author: Mary Grace Donaldson

I’d be lying if I said I was over all of it, but I’ve had to keep on doing life. I’ve had to keep dealing with people.

I’m tired all of the time. Distracted. Not able to fall asleep. Unable to wake up. Forgetful. Careless. Running on a diet of caffeine, fast food and whatever I can just throw together (not like I don’t love food or coffee, but I’m not in college anymore, either).

And sometimes, I just don’t feel like dealing with people. Unfortunately, when you have a full-time job and a side hustle, you don’t have a choice.

Part of what’s happened has a lot to do with people disappointing me — and because I feel like my life is spiraling away from me and I’d better catch it and hold it all together, I’ve been trying to control every aspect of it imaginable. But as it’s been recently pointed out to me lately… if I try to control too much, I’m not going to succeed at anything.

But what I’ve also noticed is that my tolerance for people is so low, to the point where I’m avoiding situations instead of being proactive about them. That doesn’t help anyone or any aspect of my life — whether it’s at my job, with #NAMB, with my community work or even within my family and social circles.

daria

So, what can you do when you just can’t “people?”

Don’t look for negative motivation to deal with the situation. It will only cloud your outlook.

Reward the small milestones. Do small things that can make you happy.

If you need to block out the bad thoughts for a bit to concentrate on work or on the task in front of you, it’s okay. You’re not burying your feelings — they will undoubtedly be waiting for you when you get home from work.

I’m definitely guilty of not following my own advice here, but don’t take out your anger and sadness on real friends, co-workers (they are a part of your office life and are not going anywhere), your family, or, say, your blog brand manager (have I mentioned how Michelle has heard every version of these stories I could possibly tell?).

Make lists. If you can’t focus and are so consumed with ruminating over how certain people have disappointed you, I find they’re a great way to put you back on track. I discussed how important lists are when getting ready for the holiday season, but they’re equally as important now.

Don’t forget about self-care. Whatever your definition of it is.

Know you’re not alone. You’re not the only millennial alive who woke up today feeling unable to deal with other humans. It’s okay. I’m here for you.