“Connecting with people who share the same passions affirms you are not alone; that there are others like you and that, while many may not understand your passion, some do ... What matters … is having validation for the passion you have in common.”
A tribe is a safe place to share aspirations and anxieties, share ideas and encourage us to make the bold steps.
Test the waters to find your tribe and seek out the following:
- Create collaborative communities through associations, co-working spaces, meet-ups
- Work with mentors and coaches both in a formal and informal way
- Create an informal advisory group and increase your networking through social media
- Join LinkedIn, look at groups/forums and engage in discussions
- Sign up for courses
- The low entry cost of technology makes it much easier to start an idea and see its attraction with others, so use the medium to test ideas
- Volunteer and assess your interest
- Be an intern
- Job shadow or temp in the job or role
- Start a blog on a subject area and see what interest it creates, write for other blogs that are interested in those areas.
Time To Expand Your Network
Networking is the ability and willingness to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships that support your goals. Resist the urge to do all your research online. Get out and talk to people in person.
Don’t assume you are being pushy or that networking will make you look desperate. Networks are personal webs and connections of people.
While it may be out of your comfort zone, we do recognise that for some people, networking does not come naturally. But remember networking is something you do now casually in many aspects of your life. From talking to your children’s friends parents, to meeting people at extended family gatherings.
Making connections is not about getting a job, (although it can be). It’s about extending the range and creating new possibilities, learning about new roles and other fields and identifying key people of influence.
- Identify the career areas that interest you,
- Approach people in your network and ask for introductions to people who might be helpful in this search,
- Set up phone calls and meet ups,
- Aim of discussions is to learn as much as possible about the person’s experience in the role/sector and to get more names to talk to,
- Learn and immerse yourself in the industry. Build up a new network, get future job leads, and make a decision about whether this is the area you want to move into.
Remember ‘your element or the zone’- that place where the noise is reduced, your confidence is high and the sprit to explore is evident. The aim is to find work that gives us flow, or where you are in your element. When talking to people about their jobs or careers that are of interest to you, ask them how they connected to their ‘inner zone’ to find meaning in their careers.
Want to read more?
There are also a number of references that you might be interested in following up as additional reading:
Marci Alboher The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Difference in the Second Half of Life
Herminia Ibarra Working Identity : Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career
Dr Ken Robinson The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything Penguin 2009
Dr Ken Robinson Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life