Where to from here?

The very word networking scares me. Talking to strangers scares me. Working a room is an alien concept to me.

Helping out other people and genuinely taking an interest in them, now that I can do. If it’s in my power to help someone, I naturally do all I can to facilitate that, even if I don’t know them very well. (The other part of networking – approaching people further along the career line than you, isn’t so much in my nature.)

I had a really good chat to someone who’s currently doing the same course I did; one year ago, I was in exactly the same place she was. (Incidentally, they’ve changed a lot about the teaching and paper structures -most notably, separating out the third year bachelors and post-grad students. Apparently the PGs are doing better on their own…presumably, not being dragged down by the more immature bachelors? Is it along the lines of how girls supposedly perform better in single sex schools while boys thrive in mixed ones – two formulae that cannot reconcile?)

The thing about attempting to dish out advice is you invariably get the hard questions about your own career and where you’re going next. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about this in the few months since my official elevation in title. I guess like Amanda, I find it hard to just be content for long.

For the last six months, my goal has been to get to where I am now. And now that I’m where I want to be…I’m not sure what the next step is. (I don’t anticipate it being for years yet, but it’s never too early to start thinking about it). Logically, it would be to get better hours without taking too much of a pay cut. Beyond that, I really couldn’t say. This isn’t an industry that’s very linear – in other professions, it’s a pretty straight rise up the ladder. In media, people move laterally into magazines, print, trade publications, freelancing, subbing, writing, PR…the list goes on.

The funny thing is, since I first started writing the draft of this post, a possible new opportunity has revealed itself. At this stage it’s nothing more than talk, and probably (hopefully) will remain that way for a while yet. While initially I dismissed the idea, the more I consider it, the more I’m intrigued.

But whatever happens, we musn’t get complacent.

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6 thoughts on “Where to from here?

  • Reply Amanda July 19, 2010 at 18:57

    Complacency isn’t in my nature, and from what I know of you, it’s not part of yours either. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with always striving for more. It’s ambition, lateral thinking, and daring to take risks that leads you to the top.

    I would recommend though, that if you want to continue to take giant leaps in your career, you need to get stuck into the networking thing, however much it is against your nature. I’m lucky in that both my jobs by definition involve networking as a heavy part of the job description – in organising events, I HAVE to go out there and meet people in the industry. I’m organising events for them after all!

    And these are the people that will help you out along your career path. Unless you’re planning on staying with the one organisation for your entire career, networking outside your organisation is crucial. For example, I’m now on first-name basis with the CEOs of the top five largest community service organisations in my state, due to my networking role. That will come in INCREDIBLY handy down the track. I definitely recommend joining the appropriate professional association (e.g. http://www.jeanz.org.nz/) and attending as many networking functions as possible.

  • Reply Bexi July 19, 2010 at 18:17

    Love to new look! And here’s to opportunities!

  • Reply Bexi July 19, 2010 at 18:17

    Whoops. ‘The’. Love ‘the’ new look. Sorry.

  • Reply Sense July 19, 2010 at 23:12

    My problem is the opposite–I don’t WANT to move up! Now that I have my ‘dream job,’ every day is so awesome. If you are enjoying yourself, why change your job description in the name of a promotion? A PhD is the next step for me, and it would certainly move me up in the research world and make me overqualified for my current job. But I don’t think I’d enjoy the job that came from it more than the job I have now, given what I’ve seen other PhD’s do. In my case, I don’t WANT to move up. I want to do MORE of what I’m doing now.

    Ah, networking…necessary evil. I find if I don’t call it ‘networking’ in my head, and just focus on being friendly at meetings, it isn’t so scary. I actually usually pretend that I am one of the hostesses for the event, and this makes me greet more people and try to make them feel comfortable. I also focus on what I can do for them, even if it is just flattering them because they are a role model, and even though I am the one that needs their help more than they need mine. Is that weird?

  • Reply eemusings July 20, 2010 at 00:09

    @Sense – I can empathise, I see myself more as a giver than a taker, no matter where the person is on the ladder compared to me.

    Like you, I very much enjoy my job. In many ways, it’s basically my dream job (although as you probably know, the career thing – balance, definition etc is something I’ve been struggling with.). But at the same time – as with any job – there are ups and downs, mundane aspects, certain people who drag the team down. I’m not actively looking for a change, but I do want to take charge of my career and not just sit back passively. (And I’m not necessarily looking to move UP as such, either.) Anyway, more on that later!

  • Reply hannahkaty July 20, 2010 at 03:19

    I feel like being in this field there are so many potential routes to take.. It it difficult find exactly where you want to go- which means moving across the board and then eventually building up.. tricky, tricky. But I do adore networking, odd?

    Best,

    Hannah Katy

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