Networking Pro-Tip: Be Patient

"How do you know you are ready and  have the skills to go from one to the other?"

Networking Pro-Tip: Be Patient

A career question I was asked recently, didn't quite stump me, rather, it gave me pause to reflect.

The question "how do you know you are ready and  have the skills to go from one to the other?"  is a rather excellent question.

My answer...

in short, the answer is, I didn't really know (initially). 

Several opportunities came my way because others saw my skills in action, and then presented me with a scenario I couldn't have imagined pursuing (even if there had been a job description and posting). So yeah, keeping up the networking (and leaping at every chance to showcase what you can do by actually doing the thing, is one lesson). 

For other opportunities, by the time they came along, I was at a place that I knew I could figure it out. An eager willingness to learn (together with the humility or enthusiasm to relearn) should not be overlooked as a career strength. Again, having a network to tap with questions when I was unsure or stumped, helped through all my various career iterations. 

I was lucky, the foundation for my career was my legal education, which I truly believe is a great background for a swift moving career landscape. Law demands you learn to analyze, think critically, formulate (and defend) opinions and communicate ideas, as well as interacting routinely with colleagues and clients (where the oh so critical people skills are developed). These are essential skills to have in any industry, where learning and re-learning is vital.  

The founder of Slack has a degree in philosophy, and Dell's first Chief Blogger has a degree in archeology. So even in tech-centric world, the humanities matter more the most would lead us to believe. 

BUT what I wish I'd known earlier in my career was patience. I know in my 20's I was too focused on where I was "supposed" to be by a certain age, or by a number of years in the legal field versus focusing on being a bigger sponge, soaking it all up, and enjoying the journey of learning and discovery at that juncture of my career.

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