Many people have probably thought about their future careers and where it will lead them. I definitely have. Also, many people have goals and steps in order to get to where they want to be. It is rare for someone to come right out of school into the job they want to stay in forever. There is nothing wrong with this, but many people do look to climb within their company and get promotions if possible. In this chapter, of the Geek Leader’s Handbook, Glen and McManus discuss how to advance your career.
One of the big things I got out of this chapter is networking. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Well, this might not be entirely true, but it does hold some water. It is important to have skills in the field you are applying for, but having a good relationship with someone within that company can be just as valuable. In the book, this is listed as “Unhelpful Suggestion #3” since Geeks do not tend to enjoy going to huge social occasions to talk to people that may or not be helpful in the future. However, it does also mention that networking online is a more appealing possibility to Geeks.
There are all kinds of social networking sites that can help you keep in touch. A few of my favorites are Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. LinkedIn is another one made specifically for business interactions and connections. However, all these sites make it easier for people to stay in contact with one another.
Simply staying in contact with people, checking in now and then, saying hi, and visiting people will all be useful when networking. If you are in their lives, they may think of you when an opportunity comes across them that would be good for you.
Another concept I got from this chapter was advancing yourself once you already have a job. After all the networking and searching, once you have a job, you will most likely want to advance within the company and get a raises and a better position. In the book, the authors give a couple suggestions for how to be noticed and be a good candidate for advancement. They note that being reliable, helpful, honest and taking responsibility for your mistakes will catch your bosses eye. This seems like common sense, but it really is true. If you are always on time, helpful to other workers and do what you need to do every single time, it will stand out.
Last summer, I worked at a furniture warehouse six days a week, 4AM to 3PM, which is not an easy week. However, I showed up every single day on time except for one, did all my work, and helped out other people when I could. The one day I did show up late it was only about 10 minutes and I told them the truth, I slept in, and they were okay with it, especially since it was my only time. Also, anytime I made a mistake I would tell my supervisor immediately and deal with the consequences without excuses. At the end of the summer, the told me they would love to have me back next summer and would be willing to pay more the next time. This is just a little example of where I can see this chapter at work in real life.
All in all, keeping in touch with people and meeting people is a great way to get a job, regardless of the skills you have, and once you have the job, work hard, be reliable and honest and people will notice.