How to Leave Your Job (Tip 2)

To leave your job it helps to have a strong financial capacity as discussed in the last post, but what about your social capacity?

Check Your Social Network

Richard Bolles of “What Color is Your Parachute” says that you need 80 eyes and ears to find the job of your dreams.The same would seem to apply when building a business.

As I soon discovered, having good relationships with a wide variety of people was to “seeing and hearing” what possibilities abound. The majority of interesting employment are found through unofficial channels. Much of business is still based on referrals and the ability to connect with the right network.

How are you at connecting with people that are involved in areas you care about? Do you meet interesting people that broaden your horizon?

Or perhaps you might be a lone wolf like me. Sometimes I think I’ve spent too much time as an independent engineer where one’s work is judged on its merits and not on who you know or who says what. But even engineers must collaborate with accountants, controllers, salespeople, and marketers to enable a product to have an impact on the world. Like Shackleton’s incredible voyage to the Antarctica and back, you can’t survive life alone.

So how is your ecology of friends and associates? It’s one thing to hang out with your friends. It’s another to intentionally cultivate the kinds of relationships that will sustain you in all areas.

Social capital not only allows you to leave your job. It allows you to find other kinds of opportunities. So invest!

More tips to come.

3 Replies to “How to Leave Your Job (Tip 2)”

  1. So… at the risk of sounding foolish… do you have any suggestions for cultivating those relationships?

    I have to admit that it’s been a serious challenge for me to intentionally cultivate those relationships. I don’t feel like I’m building relationships with an honourable intention when I have an ulterior motive…

  2. This question is far from a silly question since I wish I knew the answer. I know so many people who are much more of a relationship master than me!

    But I do have at least one personal realization to share. I realized how hard it was for me to ask others (even my friends) for help. Perhaps it has something to do with not being vulnerable. Yet if any of my friends or my acquaintances asked, I would be more than happy to help them. So why would my friends respond any different? So I’ve taken to practicing asking for help… starting with something as simple as, can I get a ride? In turn, I would offer up my help whenever they needed it.

    The problem is when we try withdrawing social capital without having first built it up. The other problem is also not knowing what you’re really asking for. How would you feel if someone who hasn’t talked with you for ten years asks you for a job, any job out of the blue?

    What does it take to build capital? Well, here is what would build social capital with me:

    * Talking about meaningful things I care about.
    * Collaborating with me on something important
    * Allowing me to share some of my wisdom (I have an ego afterall)
    * Taking part in an amazing shared experience or activity
    * Understanding and empathizing with me needs
    * Helping me out when I need it
    * Even doing business with me in a respectful and authentic way

    Really I just like to be treated like a human being, and if there are ways we can help each other. Awesome! But that’s not the only reason we are together. I figure that others want to be treated the same way. I really believe that having real, authentic connections is not just good for self-interest, but it’s also good for the group.

    I do have some specific ways I try to form connections. I try to get together regularly with people I respect so that we can talk about life. I try to find out about people’s life pursuits so that I can help them in some way. I try to connect with more distant acquaintances just to see how they’re doing without any expectation. And if I really want something, I’ll be direct and ask without hiding my intentions.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Thank you for addressing this subject.

    It is not easy for me to “make friends.” I don’t want to assume I can’t and I don’t want give up too easily, but it does seem that people need things I don’t have to give and it’s really hard to purposely share amazing experiences or activities when you don’t have a friend to go and do them with.

    I still think there is a lot of value in your response. I am a very authentic but often miss the mark on being respectful. I don’t think I really understand what makes others feel respected.

    In general, I feel limited by not having connections and by not having “stuff” to give or money to spend. I have felt that way most of my life.

    Thanks again.

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