“If you’re a young person, who is excited about a specific field, or a specific industry or a specific type of work, it is very easy to underestimate how interesting your interest is to the people who are already working in that space.” – Hannah Frankman

In the fifth episode of the series Success Without School, co-hosts Deb Fillman of The Reason We Learn and Hannah Frankman of rebelEducator talk about networking and career building outside of traditional schools.

The podcast begins by discussing common misconceptions about kids creating networks, and how kids have an inherent advantage when networking – instead of having to wait for adulthood like most people think.

The conversation then goes over how to use your interests and passions as a guiding light to discover the kind of connections you want to build.

The podcast concludes by covering specific strategies you can take as a young person to accelerate your network building, both online and offline, as well as case studies on people who have done this successfully.

If you want your kid to build a professional network outside of school, and are looking for advice on how to get started, this is a good place to start.

This conversation covered:

  • Why kids reaching out to professionals have an advantage over adults (6:32)
  • Realizing the options available to kids who want to work (12:20)
  • How the psyche of adults and kids about networking is more similar than you think (15:10)
  • How to think about your passion (or the lack of one) (18:48)
  • Thinking about work and life as two sides of the same coin (22:00)
  • Pointers to keep in mind while meandering through your interests (28:13)/(29:29)
  • Opportunities that require you to be in school (37:00)
  • Top strategies to network using the internet (41:54)
  • A case study on how to network without the internet (47:30)
  • The networking mindset (56:35)
  • Deb’s first job, and how to think about your first jobs (1:00:00)

Noteworthy quotes

“You don’t have to engineer being impressive before reaching out. The fact that you care enough to reach out int he first place IS what makes you impressive.” – Hannah Frankman (8:50) (referring to kids unsure of their credibility before reaching out to people their admire)

“Adults have all the same doubts and questions and insecurities as kids do” – Hannah Frankman (15:10)

“Don’t get hung up on passion. Lean instead into curiosity. Meaning, there are a lot of things probably that the average kid at least is probably curious about. Where you see something and go “huh I wonder how that works”. And I think it’s really detrimental to your overall development both as a person and a professional to get too hung up on passion, because it stifles the process that is required to find the thing that you want to do.” – Hannah Frankman (23:08)

“Just pick the thing you’re most curious about. And if in a week, you have changed your mind, that’s still a net positive, it’s still more beneficial to you than sitting around for a week doing nothing waiting for your passion” – Hannah Frankman (27:43)

“My nephew met this big shot of a real estate professional, introduced himself, and said, someday I’m going to be working for you.(While working as a Valet parking his car.) My nephew was memorable, he made sure he was memorable, and long story short, he ended up getting the job with the person he talked to.” – Deb Fillman (talking about her nephew who worked as a valet to get closer to real estate professionals as he wanted to work in real estate himself) (49:24)

“Nobody’s going to believe you if you don’t believe you. But if you believe you, and say, “no ,someday I’m going to do this”, it is surprising how valuable the world around you can get.” – Hannah Frankman (51:25)

“I would suggest young people to consider themselves as also someone they are appealing to(when looking for a job). Consider hiring yourself. There’s no reason that you cannot pick something that interests you, and then monetize it. There are opportunities galore to be your own boss, and then use your networking to build that up.” – Deb Fillman (54:56)

You can find the full episode on YouTube.

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri

Kovid Bhaduri is a self directed learner and the author of “A one stop guide to productivity”. He has previously worked in SEZ research and spends his free time playing music and learning economics.

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