How do I begin?
I’m an intern. Discomfort, for me, comes from the unknown, and fear of that unknown.
I don’t always know what to do. I don’t know, when I am given a task, if I will do it right. I don’t know the ins and outs of my organization the way those who have been her a long time would.
I can remind myself that to err is human and that there is a slightly larger margin of error for those of us starting out. I take comfort in knowing my limits.
In terms of networking:
I am part of a generation built upon social networks. I think that for many, this digital definition of networking has changed the approach to the process of networking entirely. Networking events are designed with two goals in mind: connections (personal, professional) and professional development (mentorship, learning etc.).Is the old addage it’s who you know that gets you there and what you know that keeps you there being affected by these changes?
When a person has 500 Facebook friends, 100 connections on LinkedIn, memberships to netoworking groups and communities like Ning, XING and Meetup and are making rapid connections with perfect strangers on services like Twitter and Seesmic, there are now new ways to network and new levels of discomfort.
The talk was informal (read: comfortable) and was largely a Q & A session. During this time, we discussed issues surrounding content online and how “your brand” is represented on the intern.
People have varrying levels of comfort surrounding what information is posted online and what access others have to that information.
Like my intern fears, I think this also comes back to the unknown. It is natural to fear what we do not know. We do not know what people may do with our content. We do not know that someone won’t take a screen shot of something and hold it ransom. We do not know if the people with whom we network online are the kinds of people with whom we might associate offline. Most importantly, we do not know what we don’t know.
In direct response:
So here’s a few statements around discomfort – what do you think?
• Discomfort with change doesn’t make change go away.
• Discomfort and dissatisfaction are not the same thing.
• Discomfort with a task or plan or idea doesn’t make that task or plan or idea any less worthwhile.
• Discomfort with your job doesn’t always mean you should change the job.
• Discomfort with networking is an excuse, not a reason, to avoid it.
• Discomfort is a great place to start an exploration of your career, your perceptions or your style.
• Discomfort with yourself doesn’t make change go away.
I conted that many of these discomforts are based on the unknown. To say discomfort is a great place to start an exploration is possibly the best advice and the truest statement. If knowing is half the battle, it follows that figuring out the source of our discomfort puts us back in the running.
When I network offline I like to think of it as an extention of my education. I go to learn, and if I make friends or business connections it is an added bonus.
When I network online I like to observe first and then participate once I have eased my discomfort. That usually happens once I see how others use these online serviecs and it helps me to navigate my own dos and don’ts.
I take comfort in my ability to recognize and respect my limits, to do the right thing and to reflect when I hit a roadblock.
In what do you take comfort?