I’m a few weeks into my search for a new passion, and the experience so far has been educational and enlightening.  I’m also happy to say the experience was been rewarding and very engaging.  I’ve been very appreciative of the people who have willingly opened their networks and made introductions to people I don’t know.

I’ve also been surprised at how many people have been willing to talk about their companies, their needs and their networks.  Based on one good introduction, whole new pathways and networks have opened up.  In the past, I’ve tried to be responsive to requests from my network, and it’s awesome to see such a great response to my requests.

I’ve learned a few things so far, so this may help others:

  1. I tell people I’m not asking for a job, but that I want to know what their company does, how it sees the near future and finally who the individual I’m talking with thinks I should get to know.  I’m using this experience to gain more knowledge, and I want to put the people I’m talking to at ease.
  2. Many people will want to know exactly what job, job level or job title you hope to achieve or fill.  In my case, since I’m more interested in the right growth team or company, the actual position is a bit less important, so that means I have to describe what I want and why and allow the listener to determine who I should speak with.
  3. Most companies have defined roles (no surprise) but many people of my age and experience may not perfectly fit into those definitive boxes.  I’m trying to understand when or if companies or teams are willing to morph their roles or perhaps create a new one that allows me to do what I do best.  This is why learning and understanding are so important.
  4. A resume is helpful but not all that important.  LinkedIn and its ability to communicate your experience is important, and easily observable deliverables or content online also help your case.  In my case, with my innovation blog, websites I’ve developed and other supporting evidence (books, speaking engagements) it makes it easier to evaluate the work I’ve done because some of it is public.

These are just a few things I’ve learned while out seeking a new opportunity.  I’ll provide more learnings in subsequent posts.