In this section you shall find a collection of themed blog posts. Keep up with our twitter to vote on and request themes you want! The headers may not always give away the content so read and find out...
In the age of technology, our elders often tell us we have lost the art of communication. There is some truth in that, I believe. After working for companies in corporate, creative, public and private sectors, it is time I shared my seedling wisdom. Take my advice with a grain of salt, but please, take it!
Personally, my laid back character often gets misconstrued for a lack of interest in topics of discussion. If, naturally, you are a shy person like me you may be overlooked. I had to realise that nobody is going to hold my hand and walk me to my dream career post. I have to take myself. At events I say to myself “I am either going to never see this people again, or I will in a more advanced setting” In either outcome, you want to be remembered positively. So speak up, speak out and make yourself known – for the right reasons!
As the inspiring Maggie Alphonsi MBE told me, it is so important to ‘know your why’. Why are you doing what you are doing? Why do you get up and work for this goal. Why does it matter if you succeed? Why does it matter if you fail? Follow ups, engaging body language and a smile can go a mile. Most importantly, have fun and be yourself. Professionals can sense a false persona and if you build a further relationship it will be hard to maintain. If you are in the position to be meeting professionals, you must be a credible person. Be sincere and have faith in YOU!
Horizontal and Vertical Networking
Networking across is just as important as networking “up”. The people sitting next to you may have access to opportunities, contacts or even simple advice that can guide you on your path. Get their details and keep in contact. Your network is your net-worth. Invest wisely!
There can be an air of snobbery in professional settings as there is an eternal stereotype of it being a “dog-eat-dog” world. Yes, there are often limited places for positions but, believe it or not, employers are not looking for an arrogant, selfish person to add to their team. There is a lot of excellence in this world – be one with a kind spirit. Collect and KEEP business cards, emails and other details to open and maintain a professional relationship.
Just as your followers may know your favourite sitcom they should know your craft/field. You’d be amazed how simple a recommendation from “someone you saw on Twitter” can go.
What is the point?
At times networking and building relationships can be difficult to balance. Do I attend this networking event or do some work instead? What’s true is, sixth months of consistent hard work can put you two years ahead. Equally, six emails or connections on LinkedIn can catapult you almost instantaneously. Weigh up your pros and cons.
Your connections will take you further than your talent. That’s not to discredit achievements in the slightest, just to emphasise the fact that your social capital is prime. So get out there and start networking! The best way to predict the future is to create it. All the best!
Conversation Starters/Finishers with Professionals
1. Is there any advice you would give your younger self?
- *QUE the reminiscent smile* This also enables you to later ask about the possibility of mentor-ship!
2. What are three qualities I need to get to your position?
- Flattery with a business twist. They'll love it!
3. I have some great feedback for this event, could I discuss them with you over email?
- This opens up a mutually beneficial relationship, both of you securing the bag!
4. Could I get your contact details to finish this conversation off later?
- Voila. You have saved them an awkward goodbye and ensured a future relationship.
In Ancient texts romantic love was compared to madness. Now, in the 21st century, you would be insane to settle for mediocrity.
In my generation, there is a lot of pressure to settle down, despite the progressive attitude millennials are deemed to have. A “When will you marry?” here, a “Don’t you get lonely?” there. It drives me mad. Relationships should be built on real value and rounded in true feelings, rather than an incessant fear of being alone. The world is not running out of men, nor women. What it is running out of, is opportunities. Grab yours first, the aisle will not run away from you!
I believe relationships should be based on mutual growth. Did you hear that? MUTUAL. A kind of “You water me. I water you. We grow together” philosophy. Master the art of appreciating who you have, who you are, and remaining forever grateful for the energy and time that another person sacrifices for you. However, please know the difference between someone sincerely wanting you in their life and someone who just doesn’t want to experience your absence.
When contemplating leaving someone it can be hard. All the good times seem to outweigh the bad and your vision can become blurred. Is your partner your soul mate or your cell mate? Do you feel bound by your relationship, or empowered and invigorated by it?
“We’ve been through a lot” is not an excuse to stay.
“He won’t cheat again” is not an excuse to stay.
“She treated me so well at the start” is not an excuse to stay.
You deserve more than meaningless forced conversations. You deserve more than cancelled plans and no replies. You deserve more than responses of pity and meetings of sympathy. You deserve the heavens above and the earth below. So don’t settle for average.
The whole concept of having a “better half” is all sweet and sensationalized, yet also highly flawed. You should think you’re whole. You should know you are whole. Anything else is an extra bonus.
In this economy you have to know your worth and add tax. You're expensive, you know that?
If you were in trouble or danger today. Who would you call? Make a physical or mental list of those people. Don’t forget it. Now drop them a call, even a text. We all have people we assume we can rely on, but if we ourselves are playing the role of a flaky, part-time friend, something must change.
Support your friends. Listen to their ideas, give constructive advice, go to their events, buy what they’re selling, share their posts... My site went live on January the first and if you follow me on social media you know I have BEEN posting everywhere. Could you believe some of my 'closest' friends haven't even mentioned it to me? I do not take it personally, rather, I use it as a lesson on how NOT to act in relation to my other friends. I know to sincerely celebrate their victories and remind them of their importance during their setbacks. I know to push and motivate them. A little support can go a long way.
Know the difference between those who stay to feed the soil and those who come to grab the fruit.
Think about that for a moment. Are the people you surround yourself with really pushing you to be the best version of yourself? Are you claiming to have 'blood ties' but really harbouring scars? Is your circle leading you to your destiny, or to your death?
Not everybody is meant to be your friend and sometimes you will realise you dodged a venomous bullet by losing a friend you once thought was dear to you. You see me? I’m gold. In every sense. Some people prefer silver. And that’s okay.Your reputation is your currency in this world, and you cannot afford to be cheapened by association. Afraid of leaving things on bad terms? Well, just know "Letting someone create a false narrative of you is a small price to pay for having rid yourself of their toxicity". Let them say what they want, if you and the most high know the truth, your life will flourish and their lies will rot.
Part of ‘adulting’ is learning how to be fluid with changes and adapt to different circumstances. I am working hard to build the best life for MYSELF and I cannot apologise for distance when I am focusing hard (real friends will automatically understand this by the way!) A time may come when someone close to you feels distant. If someone is stagnant there is only so much you can do before you yourself are being held back by the tide. Are there any excusing reasons for this distance? Have you vocalised your concerns? Why are you holding on? Evaluate these aspects and go forth. It's not a bitchy thing, it’s a discernment thing. Not everybody is going where you are going.
When I am with my friends I am at my happiest. Non-stop laughter, critical conversation and an everlasting sense of security. Can you agree? I hope so! After leaving for university, some friendships have strengthened and others have withered. Distance breeds miscommunication, now sprinkle some laziness in there and it is a recipe for disaster. Equally, some new friends have taught me valuable lessons on reciprocal respect, the importance of communication and the fine line between ‘banter’ and pure envy.
I love my friends. They are my chosen family and, though I always have room for improvement, I truly hope they all feel the same.
Platonic love is real! There is strength in sisterhood and pride in brotherhood.
There is power in positive unity!