It’s Networking Jim, but not as we know it

Hello my readers,

My semester has just about come to an end, and this marks my last official blog post as part of this project. I’ve enjoyed creating this blog and I hoped you’ve enjoyed reading and watching me.  I probably won’t be posting as regularly, but I do hope to maintain this blog in some shape or form. Today, I’m writing about my experience networking in New York.

Thanks for reading!

Networking

When I was an undergraduate back at the University of Melbourne,  I  went to a career services drop-in appointment. I was studying music, but I wanted to get ideas about how to further my career. All the career advisor could do was suggest that I look at a website, internships weren’t an option, the  funding had been cut. I wasn’t helped with my resume and there weren’t any networking events to attend.

New York is the polar opposite. In New York, I’ve gone to networking events, more often than not I know no one in the room. The business card is king and hustling is the norm. I’ve gone on informational interviews and my resume has been handed around by many kind people hoping to help me out. I’ve reached out to total strangers on Linkedin. I might have done these things back home, but not on this scale.

Image Credit: Professional Event Services

In Australia, we have this concept, Tall Poppy Syndrome, which someone on Wikipedia summarized pretty well as being, “a social phenomenon in which people of genuine merit are resented, attacked, cut down, or criticized because their talents or achievements elevate them above or distinguish them from their peers.”

At an Aussie networking event, I attended I was talking about this with a fellow expat, and she agreed with me, that back home when you’re overly ambitious you run the risk of being cut down, or seen as being “up yourself.” But in New York, these traits are celebrated.

My fellow expat recalled a story from her time as a high school exchange student in the USA. Back home, it wasn’t good to celebrate your high marks and she would often lie, saying she had received a B+. But when she said the same thing to her peers in the USA, they crowded round her “are you ok? that’s horrible!”

Now Australians do celebrate some success, and there are plenty of famous Australians. But it’s different to America, and a little hard to describe. I’m not saying one culture is necessarily better than the other either, they’re just different.

It’s been quite an adjustment coming to New York and picking up all these new skills. I still feel like a fish out of water most of the time, but like the saying goes, you have to fake it till you make it!

 

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