Thursday, October 24, 2013

Random Travel Update 98

Last Locations:
Houston, TX: August 23 – August 26, 2013
Nashville, TN: September 6 – September 8, 2013
Chicago, IL: September 20 – September 22, 2013
Washington, DC: October 10  – October 12, 2013

Present Location: New York, NY
Arrival Date: April 24, 2012
Departure Date: I never want to leave.

Next Locations:
San Francisco, CA: November 14 – November 24, 2013
Phoenix, AZ: November 24, 2013
Tucson, AZ: November 24 – November 28, 2013

I have become weary of writing about myself. Weary, or self-conscious. Or both. I was in a presentation this evening "Economics of a Venture Workshop"--part of the NYU Stern Venture Competition. The lecturer ended with a quote from Isaac Babel:

"A well-thought-out story doesn't need to resemble real life. Life itself tries with all its might to resemble a well-crafted story."

I would only counter that a well-crafted story requires effort. Life provides content, but it is up to the liver to present it meaningfully. 

I want to offer more content. I want to write things that are me without being merely about me. Stuff that you can use to craft your own stories. And, in return, I want you to consider someday sharing your stories with me. 

When I arrived in New York, I read a lot about how to get a job. Not just a job, but the perfect job. I discovered this. If you want a job, or a new job, or if you want to switch careers, or really do anything to change anything, this is how you do it: 

Meet with everyone you can who does anything that you think you might want to do—or who might know people who do what you want to do. Write a 2-sentence email offering to take them out for a 20-minute coffee, and make sure to give them an opportunity to leave after 15-20 minutes. Keep the subject the same for all so that you can search them easily when you go to write thank you emails and follow-ups. Always write thank yous and always follow-up. Start with professors, alum, friends, past co-workers. Ask each to connect you with one to three more people. By the time you are meeting with 6 to 10 people a week, you will start to get a good idea of the positions for which you are a really good fit and how to go about getting them. Be kind, genuine, engaging, and interested. If you want to do what someone else does, know why and be able to articulate it. If you aren't sure, ask them what they like and don't like about it. Questions impress more than answers. The more you learn, the more you will have to ask about. Use the answers to update your model--is this job really as good a fit as you thought it was? Be gracious, make sure that your resume is relevant, and be ready to send it if asked. Volunteer. Get out. Go to events frequented by like-minded people. Treat everyone you ever meet anywhere well. Pay attention to disguised opportunities. And if someone wants to take you out for a 20-minute coffee someday months from now to ask about your successes, go.