You gotta put yourself out there…

I’m a total networking whore. Something about meeting new people is exciting to me. I’ve never been a shy person, but recently I’ve been shamelessly whoring myself out to just about everyone I know.

As you’re all aware, Girl Ninja and myself are about to start apartment hunting for our first place. It’s really exciting, but also really overwhelming. Instead of trying to do things myself, I’ve taken a completely different approach. I’m telling just about everyone I know (in the San Diego area) that GN and I are looking for a place to live, and would LOVE LOVE LOVE any help in the process.

Ideally one of the rich families we know would be like “Hey, that’s interesting. My wife and I just started an adoption agency for Ninjas. We would love to put you up in our ocean front guesthouse. For free.” Sadly, life doesn’t operate around ‘ideals’. Although I may not have people begging me to live in their second home, we have had some people take interest. So much so that one of the mother’s of a kid I tutor, has dedicated the next month of her life to finding a rental for GN and myself.

This mom is totally awesome and I have gotten to know the family pretty well. She is a real estate agent in San Diego and has a buttzillion (new number I just made up) resources to make this process smooth. She has access to rental properties that only post through the realtors MLS. Everday she sends me an updated list on all the local properties she thinks we’d like. This is awesome for two reasons. 1) These rentals generally aren’t listed on Craigslist and 2) usually an agent charges you to view the MLS listings. She is totally hookin’ us up fatty and we are super thankful.

Okay, enough about that, it’s time to get on with the message: THROW YOURSELF OUT THERE. Simple enough. Right? You should take advantage of opportunities to meet people because you never know how they might be able to help you out down the road (or maybe you’ll get to help them out). You’ve heard the saying “It’s not WHAT you know, but WHO you know”. Did you know there is a reason that saying is so popular? Because it’s true!!

“Putting yourself out there” does not only mean rubbing elbows with the right people. No. It is so much more. It’s applying for the job you’ve always wanted. Do you know the best time to look for a job? It’s when you already have one! It gives you the ability to casually browse the market (without the fear and anxiety that comes with unemployment) and only apply to jobs you legitimately want. So what if you don’t meet the minimum qualifications for the job description? What’s the worst thing they could tell you? “No.” Is that really that bad? You realize if you are only applying to jobs you would love, it only takes one “yes” to change your life?! How exciting is that?! I’m convinced that options are a good thing. You should be too.

I’m always looking for ways to better myself, especially when that means applying for dream jobs and networking with new people. I never want to become stagnant, and “putting myself out there” has definitely been a huge part of my personal successes.

So am I a rare breed, or do you share a similar passion for networking? Any introverts out there that struggle with this? What means do you take to always better yourself or your situation? I’m excited to see what you all have to say so that I can hopefully learn some new tricks 🙂

Happy Friday! Now go tell your boss you want to have a slumber party at his/her house.

19 thoughts on “You gotta put yourself out there…

  1. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am a networking whore….but I do like to keep options open.

    Biggest example…my children had early intervention services when they were little. The physical therapist who worked with them was awesome, and he and I hit it off right away (in a totally platonic, friend way). After he no longer worked with the kids, we kept in touch.

    Eventually he opened his own business (I even read the proposal for him!).

    About 8 months later, he called me and offered me a job! This job started out as a few hours a week “to help him out” and now I work 20 hrs, run his office, do all his billing. I have mega perks to this job (I set my own schedule, take off when I want, he buys me lunch all the time…and occasionally a gift card appears on my desk for a job well done!)

    Good luck with the apartment search!

  2. I’m a complete networking whore and I’m not afraid to admit that! And I must say I love, love, love your way of thinking!! So many people are afraid to apply for positions or approach a contact who would be able to bring their career to such a higher level (and hey who knows maybe debt won’t ever be needed, jk!) but in the end – what do they have to lose??

    I have a tip though for all the wallflowers of the world – the more you network the easier it becomes. When I graduated in 2008 I made sure to make contact with high profile people in my industry and then was able to grow my network through their contacts or simply name dropping (not annoyingly of course!).

    Good luck with your apartment search! An ocean front apartment would be fabulous!!

  3. I’m an introvert, but I think I generally have a good network. I got my current job just by knowing some people who knew some people, and knowing other people who could give me the thumbs up.

    I don’t actively network because the idea of it seems kind of sleazy, but in general I’m friendly and get along well with people, so mercenary people-meeting hasn’t been necessary.

  4. In this economy, I think networking is more important than ever. It is great that you are comfortable with networking so young. For some, that confidence comes with experience.

    When I was young and stupid, I used to think you could do it all on your own. I probably felt that way because I grew up kinda poor and I didn’t have any connections! Now that I am older and incredibly wise, I totally appreciate every interaction I have because you never, ever know when that person will cross your path again.

    I am pretty extroverted, but I have a hard time with being fake. Sometimes you have to still put on that happy face even when you don’t want to.

  5. Networking is hard for me because I ALWAYS feel like I’m whoring myself out when I network, lol. I tend to fall on the shy side though.

    About your realtor….do things work differently over there? Here realtors don’t charge to look at MLS listings, they get paid through the commissions that come from the deal you make on MLS (since that means it’s being “sold/rented” by a realtor). Just thought that was weird that someone would charge just to look at the listings (although I’m sure they charge to be listed on the MLS.)

  6. joining networking groups and professional Associations in your industry is a great first step. meeting people with similar interests or work experience is way more helpful than just meeting random people at parties. As for your apartment search, you are one lucky son of a gun, hooked up with that real estate agent, hope you find the place of your dreams=)

    Preferred Financial Services

  7. That’s what we did with our furniture. We just let people know that if they had any extra furniture because they were moving/changing stuff/etc, then we’d be happy to pick it up and move it away. And because one person was moving away and another was getting new furniture and someone’s grandfather died, we ended up with an entire set of furniture (2 couches, desk, dining room set) where before we’d had nothing but our dressers and two end tables.

    • I am the same – I just put out there to friends and who ever (freecycle) that I require whatever, and a lot of times my needs are met. My friends were happy to give me their old computer, another lent me a boom box until such times as I got my own. Never did get that video player though! But the trick about getting people to be generous to you is that you have to be generous also. Some things I get new, but others may only be as far away as next door during hard rubbish (you should see my new lamp!)

  8. I’m the put-yourself-out-there girl and my husband is the people-sort-of-suck guy, lol. I can honestly say that I find the best deals and have received the best advice simply since I communicate with people about everything. I would not have learned about Roth IRA’s in 2007 if I hadn’t been talking to a coworker about our 401k…just too cool!

  9. You say networking whore like it’s a bad thing? 😉

    100% agreed! Learning to talk about yourself WHILE genuinely connecting with others, without coming off like a money-grubbing, eye-darting narcissist, is the most essential skill in business.

  10. Mmmm…rare bread. That stuff tastes so good with turkey and swiss. Love the blog, but you really have to bust out the spelling and grammar tools. It’s for your own good Ninja!

  11. I have to agree with others who have said that networking gets easier the more you do it. I was a total wallflower at professional events a few years back when I started working, and now I am much more comfortable talking with different people and it really pays off. I have been getting a ton of referrals lately-I have to believe this is partly because of good work I’ve been doing, but also partly on the fact that people know who I am and feel comfortable sending their clients to me.

  12. In another life I was a career counselor at San Diego State University. One of the key activities for job hunting success was called informational interviewing (networking). It works for everything. Don’t quit. (I’m including this great post in my link round up tomorrow)

  13. I think one of the most important tips one could give another person to answer the question of “How do I get rich?” That the best answer would be “Get off your butt.”

    You have the advantage of being extroverted, and that’s awesome. Most people remain ignorant financially and usually end up getting burnt or remain stuck in the rat race. I’m networking all the time when I’m doing my gold and silver investments, or looking out for opportunities in the stock markets, but most often the former.

    Throwing yourself out there is easier said than done. Most people don’t have that kind of conviction, or courage. So that alone puts you ahead of so many other people.

  14. I can’t be a networking whore because I don’t charge… 😉
    Seriously: I spent 18 years as a newspaper reporter and now am a freelance writer, so I can strike up a conversation with just about anybody — and I do. More than a few times in the courses of those conversations I have mentioned something I do, something I’m looking for, something someone I know needs and my new acquaintance just happens to be able to help.
    I guess that’s “putting it out in the universe,” as my sister calls it.
    I need to learn how to network for real, though, because I just started my own site. Years of newspaper journalism trained me to stay the hell OUT of the equation: Just report, ma’am. These days I have to tell everybody about the website in order to get readers, but self-promotion feels vaguely masturbatory to me. That’s why I tell myself that it’s time to “flog the blog.” Eeewwww.

Comments are closed.