A message for the hard-working youth

If you are young, and you are working diligently towards doing what you are passionate about as a career, but not getting recognised, funded, or making marked progress (meaning: you cannot see fruits of your labour) … please listen.


Keep at it. Keep working. Keep making connections, good grades, amateur versions of what you want to do. Keep doing it.


I am 31. I have been making connections, getting good grades, and producing amateur versions of the work I would like to do since … I’m going to call it 2005, so almost 10 years.


My dad gave me one of the most valuable pieces of advice before I went to University: it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. And that’s true in all endeavours. Rather than endorsing some ‘old boys club’, I am saying: Sure, you can go at it alone, but knowing people can open doors that you didn’t even know where available to you.

My dad gave me another valuable piece of advice this week: don’t think of life as a roller-coaster; think of it more as being a yo-yo on an escalator. You go up and down, but you’re always moving up and forward. 

You’ll definitely go through hell - the amount of friends and family I have lost, countless times I’ve gone hungry for weeks and months, hells of working in hospitality, how many times I’ve had to defend myself and my goals, and opportunities I’ve missed - but you’ll come out on the other side, on top, if you keep going.I know I’m a white American from a middle-class family, and that I’ve had opportunity that others haven’t, but if you keep going, make connections, and continue to produce work that consistently improves, it will happen for you.

Because I never thought it would happen for me, and it’s starting to.

Networking in a new industry can be daunting for even the most socially adept. Here’s how to dissolve the nerves.

Networking is research-proven to be the overwhelmingly best way to land a job, better than job board hunting and recruiter services.

But for most of us—introverts, especially—selling oneself as a “brand” doesn’t come naturally. Something as small as fully owning the skills section of your resume feels like pulling your own teeth; shoving yourself out the door to walk into a room of strangers feels like a root canal.

Here’s how to calm the nerves and awkwardness that come with wading into a crowd of industry pros, in search of your next big break:

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Winning a FULL scholarship to attend this event will be totally AMAZING!!!

For a while now, I have been thinking long and hard on how to take this Blog to the next level, and this came at the perfect time. I have worked long and hard doing this all by myself and it’s time to get help. And right now I’m not ashamed to ask for help, from these experienced coteriers. I have a long list of questions.

Winning a scholarship to be among the Industry’s BEST courtesy of @munaluchibride @coterieretreat and learning from them will be HUGE steps towards achieving my goals.

I hope with this little speech of mine, that I WIN. Not to forget, the opportunity to step my foot into America for the first time…*dropsmic*

#myTCRetreat #IhopeIWIN #Networking #learnfromthebest #timetogrow #seekknowledge #bethebestatwhatIdo #IwanttogotoAmerica

Here’s how to keep in touch with your connections, without becoming a stalker.

From finding a job to meeting your next business partner or new client, you know that there are countless ways that your network can help you when you need it.

The problem is that reaching out, especially out of the blue, can feel awkward and inauthentic. You want to establish regular communication so that any requests are just part of the conversation.

So how do you reach out without feeling sketchy about the whole thing? “The key is if you strive to provide real value in your outreach, people will look forward to hearing from you, every time,” says Jenny Powers, founder of the professional women’s networking group, Running With Heels. “Soon enough, they’ll be reaching out to you as well and it won’t feel like a one way street.”

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My friend +Don Purdum wrote a thought provoking article on how to build a successful community. What is a good article if you don’t have a community around you. Your blog is like a ghost town. Do you network with others? Or are you just selfishly saying to yourself, “No I won’t share other posts but mine.” Think again.

Your success relies on Networking. If you don’t know what Networking is all about, read Don’s. Don has been on Internet only for 3-4 months and he’s able to create a wonderful community around him. He is successful. Offline and Online. Here, you have a great model.

#U   #FB   #networking   #engagement   #relationship   #community


I am gradually coming to the somewhat devastating conclusion that a large portion of the networking advice I have repeatedly been given up to this point has large gaps and oversights when applied as a woman in a male-dominated field/industry. I find it especially distressing because I’m not even out of college yet but have already come across a few difficult situations where I feel like I’m forced to choose between networking or personal comfort/safety, both with fellow interns and with older/more experienced people in the company, and I feel horribly underprepared for dealing with it, while also being sort of afraid that I will never really quite know how to deal with it, because I frequently tend to be sort of shy and passive in professional settings to begin with.

Any ladies with more experience than me (or even if you don’t) have any advice to share?

This week we battled with our brains and willpower while giving up on work-life balance.

Sometimes it seems like much of work life is spent trying to find a balance that is always just out of reach: coming up with great ideas, and having the willpower to follow through, staying both productive and healthy, networking without being annoying.

While we can’t solve all of you problems, we explored ways to bring a little more balance into your work life this week.

Here are the stories you loved in Leadership, for the week of August 18.

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There are dozens of opportunities to meet new people and grow your professional network every day. Still, most people rely on formal networking events to pull out their business cards and start conversations. Instead, take advantage of less obvious opportunities.

A connection can happen in the most unlikely places including while you’re in line for your morning coffee, on an airplane going to your next business meeting, during a break at a seminar, or at a happy hour event.

The first rule of networking is visibility. When I started my business 16 years ago, I joined professional organizations, associations and other groups. But that wasn’t enough. I knew that I had to get involved to get recognized.  In other words, you must see and be seen in order for others to know who you are.

Volunteer to serve on the board of a local nonprofit or attend charity fundraising events. Volunteer to give a presentation or guest lecture to hone your public speaking skills. Don’t forget that you are your own best business card.

As you go about your day, keep your eyes and ears open for conversation starters. Look for opportunities to be of service. If a stranger mentions that he is looking for a good restaurant, chime in and introduce yourself and suggest some of your favorite places to eat. Search for things you have in common, especially shared experiences, to start genuinely interesting conversations.

It may seem awkward at first, but the more you practice, the more connections you’ll make. Networks grow exponentially. For every new connection you make, you inherit those secondary connections. After all, it’s much easier to ask for an introduction than it is to cold call someone or introduce yourself out of the blue.

Instead of waiting for an occasion to network, use these tips to start a conversation with a stranger.

Give a firm handshake. First impressions are powerful and a good handshake conveys confidence. Always stand when you shake someone’s hand because it shows respect for yourself and the other person. As you offer your hand, make eye contact, smile, say your first and last name, and something about yourself.

Find a connector. If you’re new at an event, ask someone in charge or someone who knows a lot of people to introduce you to others in their network. An introduction from an insider can be more effective than if you introduce yourself to a group of strangers.

Discover a person’s hobbies and interests. You could say something like, “What activities do you like to do in your spare time?” No one likes to talk about work all night, so your new acquaintance will appreciate your genuine interest. It’s always nice when someone takes the time to get to know who you are, not just what you do.

Give a sincere compliment. This can be a great way to initiate small talk. Everyone loves a compliment. When someone has won an award or done something noteworthy at work, compliment her on her business accomplishments. Accessories are safe conversation starters. Mention you like a person’s laptop case, pin, tie or handbag.

Know a little about a lot of things. Stay up-to-date on current affairs. If you are interested and interesting, people will be drawn to you. When you travel on business, grab a local paper as soon as you arrive at the airport or hotel. Familiarize yourself with local news and you’ll always have something to talk about. Stay away from taboo topics including sex, money, off-color jokes and politics.

Keep in touch. After you meet new connections, be sure to follow-up. Always exchange business cards so you can connect on LinkedIn afterwards. Send an email or a handwritten note to let the person know you enjoyed meeting him. If you come across a business opportunity or a news article that you think your new acquaintance might be interested in, let him know. When you stay in touch, relationships will naturally grow. 

I just gotta say something,
I wanna say Thank You to everyone that’s been supporting this blog, especially since the beggining. I never knew I’d meet so many cool people through an online network but I guess that’s what happens when you spend a lot of time soul-searching your way through the web. I have had the opportunity to meet some very incredible individuals through social media and I hope to keep adding names to my ‘travel-to’ list. You’re all so special, thank you for being <3

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City Swag. |
Photographer: @standoutstudios |