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Making connections for a better future

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Making connections for a better future

Matthew Norwood, Staff Reporter

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We hear stories in high school about how some people will end up as our bosses, and others serving us burgers at a drive through. The thing is, we can never just assume who ends up where, and some of those people you didn’t take the time to talk to end up the next multi-millionaire. High school is the perfect time to make relations around you, because those relations you miss out on could have been your dream career gone by.

The future is never a predictable thing. Some people will strike it rich and succeed, some may fade away and never reach their goals, and eventually death will take them all. Luck plays a big part in this, but in our meritocracy, you often succeed by how hard you work, and how much money you can stockpile to force yourself higher. However, this is not the only way to success, and not a guarantee in its own right.

One unique facet independent of merit in the business world is the ability to make connections. Whereas this does not always represent explicit business policy, making friends can be a better way to climb a corporate ladder than skill.

In any business, there will be so many people attempting to prove their skill worth that most will be lost in the scramble. Being able to distinguish yourself as someone your boss likes and knows is an effective way to separate yourself from the rest.

Even outside of business, making connections helps you exponentially in livelihood. This isn’t friends we’re talking about here, because everyone in high school knows how important friends are to their mental sanity. Instead, people spread out across the land whom you know well enough to contact for whatever reason.

Life has its unpredictabilities, and taking precaution is the most effective way of preventing real issues from surfacing. This works best right after graduation, when the course of life isn’t decided and decisions become volatile. Knowing you have someone in, say, San Diego or Minnesota who could take you in can save you at just the right time.

Some of the trips you take which enable these connections are the best places to talk for your career, as well. There is no better place to make connections to the government than in DC, or to digital business than Silicon Valley. Taking the opportunity to seek out experts in that area can open internships or job options unlike any entry applicant.

Talking to people, especially those whom you may never see again, can take effort. If they are your age, all you have to do is say hello with a smile and ask where they’re from. Expressing interest in someone hooks them, because no one loves talking about anything more than themselves. Also, every teenager enjoys people about as much as you. They will have as much fun meeting you as you will them, if you just come across as open and willing to talk.

For the higher level professionals, body language is just as important without quite the assertiveness. Standing straight, no crossed arms, and a bright smile can open you to anyone with a question. To reach those higher up, you just have to put yourself in the right place. Go to a Q&A, or intentionally seek out a person of interest when they aren’t busy. Anyone who loves their job will answer questions about it, and will respect you that you share that same love.

The biggest thing is confidence, despite the cliches. Understanding that people are always willing to talk means you won’t be rattled when they don’t, and leaves you looking ready for a conversation from anyone.

It is chance moments like those meetings which can make or break a career, a friendship, or a relationship. Taking the chance to seek them out is what separates those in the spotlight from those who waste away.

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About the Writer
Matthew Norwood, Staff Writer

Matthew Norwood is a school senior and newspaper sophomore. He keeps himself busy, and likes to do other things to give himself an idea of what he should...

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Making connections for a better future