When you hear the word ‘network’ what images does it conjure up? A room teeming with tall tables, coffee cups and business cards? A glass of wine after hours with trusted peers? Or the world inside your phone, where thousands of friends, acquaintances and strangers are standing by to react to the thoughts that come out of your thumbs?
This is my first month of being a freelance writer. After 11 years with my feet firmly under the same desk, I’ve plunged headlong into a lonely world of job insecurity and payment chasing.
Or so I thought until I joined a handful of Facebook groups and fully embraced LinkedIn. I found I was instantly part of a vibrant and generous community, where everyone treats each other as allies, not ‘the competition’, and happily shares their collective years of experience.
Want to keep track of your hours? There’s an app for that. Need to have a difficult conversation with a client? Learn from the success and failure of others who’ve found themselves in a similar situation. Having a bad day? Be buoyed up by all the positive wishes and advice that pour your way.
I’ve worked in some fantastic teams, but none has been as responsive, giving and encouraging as the 73,175* people in my online networks. I salute you!