“The harder you work, the luckier you get.” –Gary Player
The other day a friend at work told me her sister is getting married. She knew I was big into planning birthdays and events so she asked me if I had any restaurant suggestions for the rehearsal dinner. Without skipping a beat, I immediately interrupted, “Yes!” and Google-imaged a chic, modern restaurant perched in an art museum. She fell in love with it immediately, exclaiming, “Wow you’re so good at this! I would totally trust you to plan my wedding.”
And then it hit me: this is how some people get their start. I’ve heard rumors of jewelers beginning by making a piece of jewelry for themselves that all of a sudden become a hot commodity amongst her peers. Or florists who began by sending homemade thank you bouquets. But they all started with someone saying, “Hey, you’re really good at this.”
More and more I’ve noticed, outside the college regiment, everything you do or say becomes a potential “step” towards a career, whether you intend it or not. There’s something about finance people that I’ve always found quite off-putting and it’s that they always seem to be “on” or selling themselves with over-the-top charisma or too-firm handshakes, even when they’re just amongst friends. But it’s because they know that might lead to their next promotion or job opportunity. Every conversation isn’t just a conversation; it's there to squeeze out any current or potential opportunities there might be, to plant the seeds in case they flower.
I’ve never been good at schmoozing, I’m afraid. Even normal conversation could be a taxing feat for a severe introvert such as myself. So thankfully, I realized, I don’t have to rely on my verbal aptitude, because I was doing it already.
When I first started interning at a styling firm, it was mainly to help with their social media presence. But slowly, my bosses started noticing what I wore to work and realized I could be a stylist. No one ever told me these things, but dressing for work essentially became my portfolio, my pitch for why they should hire me. And it paid off. That’s when I realized, you may not think you’re doing anything, but sometimes when you want something enough, when you’re interested in something enough, you’ll start exuding it without even trying. If you love it enough, you’ll become an expert in it, and people will start coming to you. Somehow, inadvertently, I’ve started practicing what Rhonda Byrne has been preaching about in The Secret, the idea that you are a magnet and you attract the relevant opportunities from the signals you put forth.
And it’s not about how much time you spend on something, but how much energy you put in it. You could spend 8 hours at your job but if the 2 hours you put into your side project, be it writing or cooking, are the 2 most vibrant hours of your day, that’s where your energy is going. It’s scary to think my subconscious thought could bring forth realistic, life-changing outcomes, but it gives me hope that whatever we put out there for fun isn’t in vain, that the universe is also out there looking for you, and that we all will have someone say to us someday, “Hey, you’re really good at this.”