guide 018

Developer's Guide To Effective Networking

Say Yes To New Experiences

There is a reason this is the last in the group. It's because all of the networking techniques we have looked at before fall under this one. But there are so many other things that i have not mentioned but they, but let's frame it this way. How do you meet new people?

Is it by waking up and following the same routines you have always done? Staying in your lane and only doing things you are familiar with?

This is already something you will start seeing as a result of taking action on the things we have already discussed, but look for other opportunities. The act of putting yourself and your work, skills, and passion out into the world will lead to new opportunities.

Do not say yes to everything, this isn't a Jim Cary movie, but start saying yes to something.

My current job was an opportunity I got because I said yes to a new experience.

Remember Martha? I introduced you to her back in college at that career fair. She's the one who gave me my very first web design and development projects. I mentioned earlier that Martha would be making another appearance.

It had been a few years since we had collaborated on any projects, but one Tuesday evening, an email from her landed in my inbox. She was seeking assistance with a new SaaS project she was embarking on. Her co-founder, a backend developer, had been working on building out the Rails app. However, they had reached a point where they required design and frontend expertise. And guess who she thought of first? Yours truly.

Now, you might wonder if I was the absolute best designer or the top-notch frontend developer. Sure, I'm pretty darn good at what I do, but the real reason Martha reached out wasn't based on my skills. It was because we had cultivated a working relationship over time, and she knew she could trust me to deliver.

At that moment, life was keeping me quite busy with my first child on the way, and I had never worked on a Rails project before. I could have easily come up with numerous reasons to decline the offer. But, surprisingly, I didn't.

The project turned out to be a success. I thoroughly enjoyed working on it, but I didn't dwell on it too much afterward. However, about two years later, the backend developer from that project messaged me with a job opportunity that I now hold and absolutely love. It all came together because I took a chance and said yes to a new experience.

Not all new experiences have to be work, or payment based. There are quite a few experiences that you can keep an eye out for that will help build connections in our industry:

  • Mentorship, both giving and receiving.
  • Contract projects
  • Pro bono work (public library or other local sites)
  • Hack-a-thons
  • Podcasting
  • YouTube

I hope you enjoyed

There is a lot more coming...

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