As the future of professional careers receives unprecedented attention, the writer Ronan Krznaric refers to one of the great questions of the modern workplace.
This is whether we should aspire to be specialists, channeling our talents toward a single profession. Or whether we should aim to be generalists who develop across a broad range of disciplines. In other words, should we be high achievers or should we be wide achievers?
I want to tackle a slightly controversial topic.
Controversial because you may have heard the networking mantra of ‘Giver’s Gain’. This is a simple formula which says if you help others, they will feel indebted to you and be minded to return the favour. It’s a principle based on reciprocity.
Giver’s gain is often mentioned in the context of adopting a mindset when preparing for networking activity. As the theory goes, you should not attend an event armed with a wish list of what other people can do to help you. You should instead think about how you can help them.
Before a well-earned holiday break, Student Strategic Business Networking caught up with Charlie Eyre, AFBPS, Chartered Psychologist and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. Charlie is currently Senior Associate Consultant with Work Psychology Group, based in Derby.
For most of us, blowing our own trumpet is hard to do. Why? Well, from a very young age we may have been told; don’t boast, don’t show off, don’t stick your head above the parapet. After all, nobody likes a Smart Alec.
However, we can all think of people who seem to have the uncanny knack of getting their message across at the right time, in the right place, in the right way and to the people who matter; and they seem to be able to do this without an ounce of shame or self-criticism.
So what’s going on? When does authentic self-promotion spill over into bragging and hubris?
Well, despite the fact that in all societies there are rules or cultural norms which govern modesty, there are situations where boastful behaviour is tolerated without the individual being labelled a braggart.
Before I invoke the wrath of the academic community, please let me explain. I’m not about to go off on the old hobby horse about ivory towers and dreaming spires. Believe me.
You know the feeling: you are due to attend the ultimate face to face networking opportunity. Industry leaders from your chosen field will be there. Potential employers will be there.
But there’s one thing holding you back. That knot in the pit of your stomach telling you you’ll make a complete mess of it, jeopardizing your chances of a successful career.
So let’s give ourselves the perfect recipe for handling these situations and make any nerves work to our advantage.