Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wherein I Disclose My Fangirl Tendencies

Ok.  I'll admit it. Every time someone from the Volvo accepts my friend request, or follows me on Twitter, or connects on LinkedIn, I squee.


I try hard to be blasé about it, "Oh, you worked the race too?  I never would have known." but inside I'm composing emails to friends that say things like "OMGOMGOMG!!  I KNOW HIM!  I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!"  Emails that, of course, I don't send, because as much as I love my friends, none of them are quite as obsessed as I am, and are probably soooo very over the VOR by now.  SHOCKER I KNOW.

So anyway- I have this incredible network of people now.  Sailors, both past and present, support team members, organizers, executives...  Now what do I do with it?  As much as I like to think I played a pivotal role in ASSA ABLOY's success, I know I was a bit part.  Sure- I can say I worked with Karl-Henric Svanberg, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't remember me.  Same with Helena, or Jason, or Mikey or any number of other people who graciously tolerate my mildly stalkerish attempts for contact.

I don't want to say I have to figure out how to "use these connections," because I don't think that's the right way to go about it.  A friend recently shared an article decrying networking because of the dehumanizing effect it has.  You "connect" with someone and immediately wonder "how can I GET something from this connection?"  According to the article:           
"Maybe it was just that we misheard the career advice. Somewhere along the line we thought that building relationships with other people meant simply getting their email address and guilting them into responding."
I don't think that's healthy, sustainable or what I'm going for.  What I want "from" these people (note: NOT from these "connections") is a true network.  A bunch of people, connected in a web, some who know each other, some who don't, but who can help one another reach their goals.  HELP.  Not GET, not USE, not WHEEDLE.  HELP.

So.  How can I help my incredible network, and how can they help me as well?

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