Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do. – Liz Smith
Begin somewhere; you cannot build a reputation on what you intend to do. – Liz Smith
So yesterday I attended Un-Convention’s Un-conventional Women event in Manchester’s awe-inspiring Victorian neo-gothic town hall (I have a wee bit of a soft spot for anything gothic). A fairly last minute decision since I was only told of the event a couple of days prior, and Manchester isn’t exactly in my general area. Nevertheless I grabbed a friend and off we went, almost unacceptably early on a Sunday morning.
It was awesome.
The main reason I decided to go to this convention/conference wasn’t to indulge some kind of feminist man-hate that these events have an unfortunate tendency to turn to. I was interested in learning about what the “state of the art” in the music and media industries is today, how do these influential figures in the music industry understand the age of digital music, and how can I work the situation to my advantage in what is very much a male-dominated industry. Another reason was a chance to network with the speakers and others in the industry to further my base of contacts.
It was very eye-opening just how little understanding of the relationship between music and the internet was demonstrated by some of the speakers. And what a fantastic opportunity this is for our generation to become the next great innovators in the music industry.
But mainly, I have to say, I was incredibly pleasantly surprised by the sheer presence of the speakers. Most of these were charismatic, no nonsense women. They have every bit the confidence to play with the boys, and they elegantly shot down all the characters that show up in these crowds to cry and whine about how “the boys make mean jokes” and are “insensitive”. Have you ever seen a bunch of guys hanging out together? They’re not exactly having a tea party and complementing each other’s hair. If you’re having to work with a bunch of guys, you need to learn how be one of them. I’m not talking visually, or about renouncing your femininity. But you can’t expect to walk in a room and everyone adapting to you just because you’re a girl, because let me tell you something, sweetie:
That is not equal treatment. That’s preferential treatment. And you’re nothing more and nothing less than every guy in the room.
Besides, from my experience, most of the time a girl’s biggest enemy in a male-dominated place is the other girl. Just something to think about.
I’ve still got a thing or two to say, so stay tuned for Part 2!
Good morning everyone! How are you this fine day?
Yeah, Mondays suck.
Therefore instead of imparting my finite wisdoms upon you this week I’d rather impart upon you a challenge. Something to make you excited, elated, nervous, terrified, bursting with anticipation or all of that rolled up into one juicy burrito.
So here it is:
Instead of wallowing in your Monday Misery arrange to do something this week that you’ve never done before. Today if possible. It has to be something to get your heart rate up, or something that you’d never in a million years think that you’d be doing. Perhaps something you’ve been meaning to do but were too scared, or just something crazy you’ve never gotten around to doing. Drag some friends into it. Feeling uninspired? Tap your friends for inspiration.
And don’t forget to share what you did with us in the comments below!
Follow me on Twitter @Martholio. It’s good for you.
Position: Head Ambassador in India
Study Field: Bachelor in Engineering
Uni: Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), India
Recently, it dawned upon me that I have just passed the halfway mark of my Bachelors course. This thought further instigated a session of self-reflection – a look back at all the memories, learning and occurrences that have shaped the most memorable two-and-a-half years of my life so far.
One thing that I noticed was that all these experiences had a common link that was instrumental in their realization – student events. Be it the competitions that have acted as an avenue to bridge the gap between the theoretical notions of my curriculum with relevant practicality or the conferences at which I have so often been left awe-inspired, it is without a shadow of doubt that I can affirm the positive contribution of student events in my undergraduate odyssey thus far.
“All these experiences had a common link… student events.”
Also, I have realized that some of the most inspiring moments in your life come through some of the most unexpected avenues. For example, it was at a conference on ‘sustainable lifestyles’ that I met an academic who enlightened me about this really cool concept called ‘design thinking’; a topic that I am now considering for my thesis. So next time you get the opportunity to get involved in a conference, competition or seminar, make sure that you go for it!
Here’s a question:
How many times have you looked at listings for jobs or internships or competitions or whatever else from the “I’m doing something with my life” basket that has stated being “creative” as a requirement, and actually understood what that meant?
If you actually tried to answer the question I’m betting about 99% of you choked on your own mental monologue at least once in the first few minutes. Many of you will go somewhere along the route of “it depends on the situation”.
And you’re right: it does depend on the situation/field/employer. But even more importantly:
Most of the time, employers don’t even know themselves.
Creativity has become one of business’ favourite buzz words. It takes the mind away from a dry, old-fashioned perception of something into a hip, fun, “anything is possible” world of both unprecedented achievement and caring. It implies personal development and an almost romantic view of what lies ahead. And it is directly linked to feelings of bitter disillusionment.
It is without much doubt one of the most devalued words in our dictionaries but nevertheless, it still represents something crucial to all of us – it represents pushing yourself to think and act beyond your own limits. Creativity, originality, and ingenuity. It reminds us to not become complacent in our routine, but to “think outside the box”.
And that’s really what employers in any situation are looking for when they say they are looking for someone “creative”. They are looking for the individuals who are open-minded and motivated enough not to become complacent in their work routine, and see and take advantage of the opportunities that can lead to great things.
And I think that’s a little something we all can write on a post-it and stick on our desks.
Have a great week!
P.S. Follow me on Twitter @Martholio for more musings, event info and general silliness!
Networking is finding the right people with the right resources and having them help you get the word out.
Right people + Right resources = Success
By yourself, you are nowhere near as effective as when you have a network of contacts and friends working together to help promote you or your new venture. Networking is as easy as making new friends. If you can make new friends, then you can network. But making new friends does take work. It’s not magic.
How do we do this? Let’s break it down into 3 important sections:
Make it a point to provide helpful information / advice / support to at least one person each day. This is a major stumbling block for people because of the personal investment it requires, but once you realize the multiplier effect that’s attached to each of your efforts, you will be surprised at why more people aren’t doing this.
Just help others. Quite often you’ll hear people voicing their concerns in public forums or even on twitter. If it takes a few minutes of your time to point them in the right direction, do it right there and then.
Summary: You have to prove your value to people who are vastly more influential than you – this translates into building your own worth by playing with the smaller fish first. It’s a step-by-step process. Continue reading
You’re young, ambitious, and full of amazing ideas, why not start your own business? With the job prospects for students and recent graduates looking grim, now may be a better time than ever to capitalize on that great idea you have by turning it into a profitable business.
“Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”