Issue #7
#7: On the downside of waiting, networking in reverse -- and career control
March 04, 2022

Hello everyone,

Wow, it's hard to get our heads around the tragedy, complexity and importance of what's happened in the world since just last week.

Usman and I often start our syncs a bit more macro, before diving into our agenda. Suffice to say, we struggled to make sense of much this week. But then getting to discuss things with Usman made me thankful to have him as a friend with whom I can at least ask: what do these events mean?

Massive changes like this one feel like they're more and more common. Which is a trend at the core of why we started TalentStories. It underlies our belief that we need to be more thoughtful about our work precisely because our world is changing faster and becoming more complex. And it's foundational to our belief that a community with whom to ask, "How will this affect the work from which I derive my livelihood and fulfilment?", is more needed than ever.

It means so much to us that you're a part of this. Thank you.

Aki & Usman


Our take: On the surface, the aspiration Gale describes is about wanting less stressful work, even at less pay, so long as it means we get to enjoy life more.

But another way to look at the same aspiration, is as about control. The notion that we can decide to effect these work changes, that we have the agency to make these tradeoffs, and that it's OK to make them -- is a new, exciting trend.

Our question: Anecdotally, do you see the same trend as Gale -- peers or people you know trading off prestige and/or earning, for work that is more fulfilling?


Our take: Networking isn’t dead. It’s changing.

Old networking – REACH OUT to people for opportunities.

New networking – PULL IN new people/opportunities. Like ☝🏻

At first glance it might not look like John is networking up there. But he is -- he’s just doing it in reverse.

"In reverse", because he is magneting IN new opportunity, not simply going OUT to his existing network. And it’s more efficient because it’s online.

What else stands out from this really well-done post?

  • The pithy, confident way he states something that might be perceived as negative – “Parted ways from my fintech startup” – then immediately goes straight to the positives of what he’s done before.
  • John prob has a great network; but posting this way has the potential to source opportunities that complement and are more diverse than those coming from just his existing network.
  • His hack of tagging in @nikitabier for added reach. John has about 3.3K followers on Twitter; Nikita has 30X as many: 99.9K. John is a product leader who gets distribution. :)
  • Humor – John is a steal, compared to Nikita!
  • The whole post is barely 7-lines long! With 3 fun emojis! 🙌🏻

He’s since been inundated with interest. Much of it from new sources of opportunity.

I can’t wait to see how it unfolds from here – where John decides to take his talent!

Our question: Have you seen any examples of successful "reverse networking"?


Our take: Most people wait to get picked. They wait for permission. They wait for all the pieces to fall into place. But there's more downside than ever to a "wait" strategy.

Because the pace of change in the world demands more than ever that we muster the courage to take that first step. Even if we're not "ready". That single act of a first step immediately differentiates us, and gives us higher odds of success.

Our question: What's something -- even something small -- you've been waiting for the "right time" to do? What's the real downside of taking that first step?

Thanks for reading!

Work moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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