The Power of Networking

Social Media apps
Lately, I have been receiving tons of very similar e-mails. Everyone wants to know how they can be more successful with their freelancing, how they can grow their website further, what they’re doing wrong, and so on.

Some even want to know how to break into the personal finance community because they haven’t been having much luck with connecting with other blogs and bloggers. Basically, they want to know how to connect with others better and more effectively.

Well, let me tell you what works: networking!

I love the blogging and freelancing community that I am involved in. Everyone is very friendly and I have made numerous friends. I am a very talkative person to begin with, so everything in this post comes relatively easy to me. However, I completely understand how some things don’t come as naturally to others.

Some might be afraid to come off as spammy, some are just nervous people. Some are afraid of rejection.

Networking is very important. Someone e-mailed me the other day and said that no one is e-mailing them back and they feel stuck whenever they try to network. They feel that they can’t further their freelancing and website further until they improve their networking skills.

Now, why is networking important?

With networking, you can find out about future prospects, projects, ideas and so on. Maybe someone who you have networked with will need your services down the road. They will then hopefully think about you and your services. Most people would rather use someone who they know or someone who they know of instead of a stranger, and this is where you come in.

Networking is also important because you can gain friends in your niche/industry. Who wants to work alone? For myself, I’d rather not think of everyone as competition. I’d rather think of someone as a friend and a colleague. Some may say that this is not always the best idea, but for me, I prefer it this way.

Maybe you will need help one day, and your new friend can help you solve your problem. Maybe you two can team up as well. You never know, you might even partner up with a contact and start a business.

Below are several networking tips. Not everything works for every industry, but it is a good start:

Be yourself.

Of course this depends on what kind of job that you have. If you are a lawyer, you will want to stay professional at almost all times. However, if you are a blogger, then you probably want to be as real as you can be. You want people to be able to relate to you. Not many people want to talk to a robot…

Follow up.

I talk to other bloggers and freelancers multiple times a day. If you are on Google Chat, then chances are that I have chatted with you and talked about anything and everything. I might send you a random text, an email, or respond to a tweet of yours. I love communicating with readers, other bloggers and other freelancers!

Engage in social media.

Engaging in social media can pertain to many different industries. Whether you are blogging or you have an online retail store, engaging directly with your customers/clients/etc. is very important.

You can have conversations on Twitter, post pictures of what you are doing on Facebook (such as the newest clothing trend that you are selling, something new in your life, etc.). The options are endless.

Attend events in your industry.

In October, I will be attending my very first FinCon. I don’t know why I decided not to go the past 2 years, but I am super excited about October.

Attending an event such as FinCon is great for myself and others in the industry because it allows you to finally meet all of those people who you talk to. You can also meet many new people and branch out. You can put a face to a name, hang out, talk in person and everything else at events like this.

Quality is important.

If you are networking and trying to become more successful, then numbers may seem important. However, what’s really important is quality. Good networking means that you are talking to people, following up with them, listening, helping them out, and so on. Good quality networking means that people can count on you and you can count on them.

Having a few really good quality contacts is much better than having 10 really bad contacts who you never talk to.

Do you engage in a lot of networking, either online or for your day job? Why?


What Not To Do When Leaving Your Job

What Not To Do When Leaving Your JobI know that everyone has different reasons for leaving their job, and sometimes it is a really toxic environment that you are trying to leave.

However, if you are trying not to burn any bridges, then you might want to read my post How To Leave Your Job on Good Terms.

And, of course there are always cases where no matter what you do, your work will be upset.

That will most likely be my case, as none of this will most likely help. However, I still need to show my work respect, since they are great people to work with. I wouldn’t be happy if they did something evil to me, so I don’t plan on doing it to them.

When I worked in retail as a manager, I witness many wrong/weird ways to leave your job. We didn’t have super high turnover, but those who were new to the job most likely left soon after because jobs in customer service are definitely not the most fun, and they are not high paying at all.

Below are some not so good ways to quit your job:

Simply not show up for work.

Yes, the easiest way to quit your job would be to simply not show up. You can avoid any confrontations and no one will be mad directly at you. You can’t get yelled at because you won’t even be there. However, is this the smartest way to leave your job?

If you don’t want to burn any bridges, this is DEFINITELY not the correct way to leave your job. You are not only hurting yourself, but you aren’t giving your work any notice and they may even get worried about you if you are not answering their phone calls or emails.

Leaving your job this way can hurt you badly if you ever need recommendations. Also, I wouldn’t count on this employer as being a reference for any future jobs.

Leave a letter stating why you hate your boss and why you hate your job, and then not show up.

Yes, I have actually personally witnessed this. Someone that I worked with left a detailed note about why she hated my boss and didn’t give notice or anything, and she was an employee for over 5 years. That was not a pleasant day to work… It was also awkward because she was/is a friend of mine.

Leaving on a negative note like this can really hurt you. It can be hard to find another job as well. You should try your best to leave your job on a positive note.

Throw everything everywhere, and then create a scene and a mess.

Yup, I’ve seen this one too. One time an employee got angry and threw stuff everywhere. She then slammed every box, basket, bucket, file, etc. she could find. Not pleasant and you make all of your former co-workers hate you because they have to clean your mess up. Believe me, none of us will EVER forget your face 🙂

Tell everyone you are about to quit besides your boss.

You might think that you need to tell everyone that you work with that you are quitting, but it is usually your best bet to tell your boss first. You don’t want gossip to be spread around, and your boss will most likely lose faith and respect in you if they find out last.

Leave without any notice.

If you have an important job, it is most likely wise to give your work notice. You don’t want to tell them that you start your new job the very next day and that today is your very last day. You want to give your work to prepare for your departure.

Have you ever witnessed someone leave a job in a ridiculous way?

What other ways would you consider wrong?


Things People Say When I Tell Them I’m Making The Switch

Everyone knows that I’m making the switch. Big surprise, right?  However, when I tell certain people that I am making the switch, I tend to get the crazy eyes. People usually think I am insane and/or don’t believe me.

I received much more resistance to my self-employment idea a couple of months ago, but lately everyone seems to be coming around. This of course makes me happier, but some of the things that people have told me just make me laugh. And that’s why I’m sharing everyone’s thoughts with you today.

Some think I’m making a huge mistake.

These people have no problem with telling me that they think I am making a huge mistake. I kind of understand where people are coming from. I have a stable job where I make decent money, and I am about to just throw it all away.

Also, I do have three finance related degrees, so I’m sure people are confused as to why I want to make the switch to freelancing. I don’t regret my degrees at all, and I am still 100% happy that I have them.

Some think I am just running away.

Certain people think that I am just running away from my job, which I just find hilarious! I’m not running away from problems at all.

Some think my plan is horrible and that I am acting like a child.

When I tell certain people my plan, they tend to think that I just want to freelance and enter the self-employment world because I’m being lazy and don’t want to act like an adult. UM HELLO?! Since when does working for yourself make you a baby?

Some people also ask me if I have thought about things such as taxes or insurance. Yes, I have thought about these. I would never just make the jump without researching and knowing as much as I can.

Some just think I am “lucky.”

When I tell certain people about my self-employment switch, they tell me that I am lucky and that it would be nice if they could just “do nothing” for the rest of their life. I do a lot! I’m not just sitting here for 5 minutes each day and calling it a day right after that.

Some don’t see it as sustainable.

I published my extra income post yesterday on Making Sense of Cents, and in it I stated that I made $11,117 in extra income in July. My income has been growing drastically each month. Just in the beginning of last year, I was making $0 in some months.

A couple of people who I have talked to have told me that my freelancing is not sustainable. Is anything extremely stable?  Everyone should be growing and adjusting their skill set constantly, and this is what I plan on doing.

Also, we will still be saving a significant amount of money each month, and that will help us in months where I don’t do as great.

This is also why I am constantly working on diversifying my income. I want both active and passive income.


To calm everyone’s nerves:

I am not making a mistake. At least I don’t think I am. I think this is actually the best decision of my life. I am very excited and I cannot wait 🙂

I’m not running away. If anything, I am running towards a new start in my life.

My plan is almost 100% thought out, and I’m living my life. Yes, I could plan a little bit more probably, but I don’t think I’m making a life or death decision.

I have worked very hard, and am very grateful for everything that I have. Yes, I will have more free time, but that is only because I have been working 100 each week for YEARS now. I deserve some down time.

I will grow as the industry changes.


Have people ever looked at you crazy when you decided to change your career?

If you are on the financial independence route, how do people react when you tell them that?