The Power of Proper Practice in Professional Networking

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

"Proper practice prevents poor performance." This alliterative adage came to me from my high school drum instructor. In drumline, the "Five P's" meant practicing para-diddles and rolls until my hands were blistered. If I'd applied their wisdom more broadly, my networking skills might have kept pace with my drumming.

But I practiced networking poorly, learning to attain only those opportunities that came readily within my reach. So when I landed in Los Angeles in June of 2018 seeking to break into a new industry, it's no wonder that I largely lacked the tools and skills I'd need to succeed. I'd left a comfortable life in Florida to pursue a path to greater career satisfaction, but while I knew where I wanted to end up, I didn't know how to get there.

Ever intent on moving forward, I soon realized I needed guidance to help me find the path I sought. After gaining no ground despite repetitive applications, rejected phone calls, and outreach to several staffing services, a Twitter post brought ArcVida to my attention. Though I'd expended most of my savings surviving in this pricey city by then, I was more than willing to pay for career coaching I felt I could trust. After some preliminary research into ArcVida's philosophy and reputation, I decided to take a chance on the startup.

What I got was exactly what I'd hoped for: access to the knowledge and networks of capable career coaches, unrivaled support from a class of fellow clients sharing similar struggles, and the guidance to grow my ability to independently foster vital professional networks. ArcVida's program pushed us into daunting conversations with old bosses, peers, and co-workers, all intended to help us identify our weaknesses and strengths. Thereafter, guided research helped us to determine what careers our qualities matched best.

For me, some of the work was already done: I knew I wanted to write. But I nonetheless recognized in my peers' endeavors how useful the program is in narrowing down one's career objectives. My personalized path came to involve conversations with people doing the work I aspired to and with executives with power to hire those people. These conversations proved all the more daunting, but all the more vital to my learning.

This was the proper practice I'd needed: guidance to identify and place the building blocks of future success. Through targeted networking, I gained a volunteer script reading gig that soon led me to a reading role that paid, establishing the credentials I needed to join two exclusive industry collectives. My strengthened senses of self and purpose have driven my conversations with several creators I admire. Now, I am pleased to apply my professional skills in support of the enterprise that helped me to see them clearly.

I've yet to reach my destination, but I'm confident I made the right call in joining ArcVida. If I have any regret, it's that it took me so long to practice networking properly. As I continue to apply my new knowledge and tap the connections I've forged, the path to my ideal future grows clearer step by step.

It is my hope that my work with ArcVida will help others to find their path to career satisfaction in this age of widening opportunity. Try a $10 trial if you're ready to practice networking for the modern market.

Published on 11/25/2019