My current education focuses a great deal of energy on what we are to do when we are done, they pack in a 6 week placement during our final term, and they plan the areas of study to focus on a mix of skills that will help us out later on. The current subject at hand is “Project and Process leadership” (badly translated by me, but you get the point) and in some of the lectures we have been using tests like the Belbin test (scoring you into a primary and secondary team role) and the Jung Personality Test (giving you some insight into what traits steer your life). They are both great tools to get to know yourself and your team members better, and I definitively learned some new things about myself!
During my time in the UK, and especially my first half year working for Career Circus, I learnt how important networking is, because you really do struggle more in the job market if you don’t know the people that can get you in the door, and in general great ideas and hidden job opening both often come from your network and teams of people. That is also why we have the YP Network events! Another thing is that with my part-creative career path, I often need to reach out to other creatives in order to bring a project to the end.
One of the things I have remembered lately is how helpful your friends and loved ones can be when you i.e. are applying for a job, or creating your portfolio, or in any way attempting to describe yourself and push your best sides out: When I was 16 I asked my friends (via text) to describe me in one word, and it is one of the most interesting things I have done when it comes to getting to know myself. I got some very fun answers back, and some that were shocking to me. Then again, these people knew me the best at the time, and I still keep the paper with those words on it close at hand, it reminds me both of how good friends I have and of how another persons’ angle can be helpful.
That is why I want to challenge you! I have a little list of things you can do to get to know yourself better, and to develop your network this year:
1: Invite a friend out for a cup of tea or coffee or whatever your preferred hot drink is, and ask them if they could bring another friend of theirs that you don’t know.
2: I am sure you know two people that you have often thought could benefit from knowing each other: Get them together, and get them talking.
3: Go to an event (could be anything, a networking event, a concert, a conference, a poetry night..) alone, make an effort to talk to at least three people you don’t know.
These small challenges will grow both your and other peoples networks, and this way, you both give something and get something!
Have a great month, and good luck with your challenges! Please tweet us how it went, I am looking forward to hearing your stories.
Marie Mathisen is the Digital Acrobat for Career Circus Ltd, she has a BA in English Literature from the University of Essex, and just started on a two year course on Digital Marketing & Communications in Norway, she is blogging about what to do with her life post-education.