If Sunday entries are all about whatever the crap I feel like, then it sure is rare to feel like whatever kind of crap 2 Sundays in a row. And today’s entry is about my favourite kind of crap, me.
As you may have observed from some of my Sunday entries, I love talking about myself. I find my own behaviour utterly fascinating and because not many people really enjoy listening to me talk about myself, I would much rather write them here so that nobody but me is forced to read them.
Today’s entry is something I find quite important to everyone, and it is one of the best ways to get ahead in life, I feel.
Generally, most people would tell you that in university and in adult working life, networking is very vital. Having knowledge and qualifications is naturally always a plus, but getting to know people comes in a close second, sometimes even topping the former. For a while I couldn’t figure out why that would be so, but I’ve come to realise that quite unknowingly, I’ve been relying on networks to make my way up this couple of years. So here are a few reasons why you should make lots of friends and contacts.
This is the most generic answer people would give you when you ask, but generic doesn’t mean wrong. Indeed, having friends gives you plenty of opportunities, most notably to get a job. Sometimes people are more inclined to hire you to their company or to do something if both of you share a mutual friend who can be relied on to give a good reference. Even if you work part-time, as a temp or do freelance work, you must realise that there may be hundreds of people who are doing the same thing, and the only way to help you stand out from the crowd is the assurance of quality, which comes in having a friend who trusts you. Even if it’s somebody you’ve only met once and briefly exchanged contact numbers, the person is more likely to give you a chance (even if it’s because it’s embarrassing for him not to). So for your first foray into the working world, be it in looking for a job or looking for clients to secure that business deal, opportunities come knocking on your door — in human form.
Not only should you make many friends, but you should try to get to know as diverse a crowd as possible. Of course, it’s impossible to know somebody from every walk of life, especially if your interests totally don’t clash at all. For instance, I don’t believe I know any friend who is a fashionista and knows stuff about the fashion world, but I may know a friend who comes really close and she may know somebody else who fits my criteria! Do you see what I mean now? It is thanks to my friends that I know something about video games, arts performances and the army, things that I would never have known or researched into otherwise.
And of course, you should pay attention to what your friends tell you, even if they mayn’t be anything of interest to you. You never know when you can use their stories as anecdotes for other conversations or inspiration for something else entirely. For instance, I’m not entirely a fan of punk rock and don’t know any good punk rock songs, but due to my flexibility and acceptance of new ideas, I can brandish Powerman 5000 when the need arises, such as when the Literary Society needed a punk rock song as background music for our RPG session.
Yes, of course it was all to my credit. My own virtues bowl me over.
Speaking of the Literary Society, I must say joining societies is a great way to meet new people. I’d say school is the best time to join a society, because when you’re an adult societies tend to take in hefty admission fees and everybody’s really too busy at work to mingle and socialise very much I must say. If there happens to be an interest group in school that you like, go right up and ask to join! The benefit of it is that you get to meet people who share the same interest as you (at least one anyway) and yet they may be different in all other aspects so it broadens your social circle too. Not only do I join many interest groups, I also try to have lessons in other faculties of school as much as possible, so that I meet all kinds of people from every faculty.
Probably the most practical point of the 3, help is what friends can give you. They may be monetary help, technical expertise or even just personal advice. This is probably the part that I cannot do without, myself. I am a very useless person when alone. I literally cannot do anything, including opening a pickle jar. However, with the help of my friends, I can get posters done, edit podcasts, have a picture drawn and much more. I sometimes think of myself as a middleman. I join people’s skills with areas that require them.
And of course, when I’m lonely, I’ll always be able to find someone to accompany me.
Do note, however, that quantity of friends this time does not win over quality. It is absolutely essential to have a small circle of close friends whom you can count on in times of trouble, because acquaintances tend to put their own interests above yours and this isn’t very good for your self-esteem.
And when all this is said and done, Exalted Salvation is always open to making new friends!