By Maria Gutzeit
Recently, I read the bestseller “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D Vance. To be honest, my reason for loading it onto my Kindle was to understand what the heck “the other side” was thinking.
The book, and lessons learned, turned out quite different than expected, and I highly recommend reading it.
One comment Vance made was that Yale Law School (which he was a very unlikely candidate for) taught him the immense value of networking.
He observed: “Successful people are playing an entirely different game. They don’t flood the job market with résumés, hoping that some employer will grace them with an interview. They network.”
This reminded me not only of the corporate world, but also of local social circles. Some lament that “it’s always the same people” on charity boards and committees.
However, when you speak to those whose names frequently reappear on the same boards and committees, you’ll find they are often exhausted and in want of new blood.
How does this situation occur? Because people already involved ask people they already know to help. It is human nature. If you know someone, you generally know their work ethic and will prefer them over someone you have never met.
However, taken to the extreme, organizations can become resistant to new faces and new ideas through this practice.
Volunteering as a board or committee member can get you known and make you more connected to our community. Meeting others (networking) while performing a service helps you achieve more down the road.
It can also teach you many useful lessons. How are budgets set? What are government rules on grant funding? What are the legal…
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