I’ve had a great run over the last year. I left a job that was a dead-end for me and took on a great challenge doing search optimization at an industry leading company for 8 or 9 months and landed in a great position at a company I’ve long admired from afar.
How is that possible when the President says the country just passed through the worst recession since the Great Depression?
I was never a good student. I was a chatty, class clown, ADD (before we knew what it was), flirty, sport loving middle-of-the-pack guy through all of my schooling. I took bad notes, mostly because I would rather listen to the teacher. I was always an organizer and social.
When I was 23 I used to grumble the “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” when I would lose out on something. In retrospect, it sounds silly to think I thought I knew anything at 23, but still, you know what I mean.
Now 20 years later I’m the guy who now “knows people”. I now appreciate the work that it takes to build a network. It’s work. It’s valuable work. In most cases, I’ll take a “people person” over a really good “what you know” guy. I can find a million guys with the technical skill set to get a specific job done, but what’s much harder is finding the guy who can talk an angry customer down, bring a group to a consensus or talk sense into the director who controls the budget for an important project.
What’s the best of both worlds? A smart person who is also networked. That’s my goal. I try to read a lot to keep up with my smart friends. I just downloaded a whitepaper from DIYThemes on Nonverbal Website Intelligence. Tonight I’ll continue reading The Art of Possibility. Instapaper usually holds at least half a dozen articles for me each night.
How do you try to keep yourself at the front of the pack?