'So, What should I do?' 3 of 3: Work?Net-Work!

He sat by the window relishing small sips from his cup. Awaiting his cousin’s arrival, he started taking a stroll down the memory lane. During the school days they would be inseparable and spent lot of time together playing and fighting but now it had been years since they met.

A smile appeared on his face, as he remembered how he never liked wearing his cousin’s shirts and shoes from yesteryear and wanted to keep up with his ‘latest-trend’ friends. The elders did not understand why he would complain, as they never did in their days. He was fine with reusing the books his cousin studied from but the syllabus kept changing and he had to get the latest edition.
'So, What should I do?' 3 of 3
“Yes! That’s right”, he exclaimed realizing why the giant’s recommendation for growth was through new and latest projects instead of higher studies. After all, what he learned in college was lot different than what was needed in industry. In college, not all useful was learnt and not all learnt was useful. Most of what he used was learnt on the job. Now the ‘trend’ and ‘syllabus’ were changing and variety was growing even faster and he had to keep up with those. Of course the learning and experience from ‘latest’ projects would make for a stronger and smarter ‘upgrade’ instead of spending time and money in an institution.

He snapped out of his thoughts realizing that someone was ringing the doorbell. “That would be him”, he said rushing to the door.

The two met after really long and were really happy to see each other. They talked about memories from childhood, how everything slowly changed and what was happening in their lives. His cousin used to work earlier in the same industry and later went on to start his own company. He kind of went underground for two years but would travel a lot now to meet many people.

“So how’s your startup doing?”

“Initially it was a struggle but things are much better now”

“That’s nice. The hard work you are putting in is paying off”

“Actually I worked much harder earlier and results were not showing up”

“Then what did you do?”

“I realized that not just work but network is as important. The network I started building helped me score many deals”

Later the cousin left to meet people and grow his network. Our friend started pondering on what he learned earlier about importance of network. A solid network could help him find projects not just at his workplace but also could open a world of opportunities outside as well. He could get to know more giants and learn from their experiences. “I should also start investing time in networking”, he told himself.
Earlier Forbes magazine featured an article titled “It's Not What You Know. It's Who You Know”. Actually, What You Know, Who You Know and Who Knows You are all important whether you want to start something of your own or progress in an industry. Even as an employee, you might be doing magnificent work but if no one knows of it, chances are bleak that it will help you grow. To progress in today’s world, one must Learn Through Work and Progress Through Network.

To summarize this mini series and answer to “So, What should I do?”, you should

1. Understand that the rules have changed and being good at just one thing and ‘better’ degree no longer guarantees success
2. Getting help from Giants or mentors is important
3. Learn Through Work and Progress Through Network

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 4th Anniversary (20 Nov '15).
Ashish Vaidya
Ashish Vaidya is a contributing writer at Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.