Monday, October 27, 2008

A like mind. Thank God.

“ ‘Networking,’ as a word, makes me feel like I get a physical reaction, I hate the term so much. It sounds all like strategically talking to people and trying to be their friends. It’s not authentic.”

Live in Washington long enough and you may at times feel like every conversational grouping you participate in is a glorified job interview:
• What do you do?
• Where did you go to school?
• Where are you from and where do you live now?
• What can you do for me?

Meanwhile both sets of eyes scan the room for someone more important as a mental notch is checked towards a quota. No wonder booze is served.

Because networking in the traditional sense is such a way of life here (even in supposedly recreational settings), a person can get over-saturated on such stuff and need a palate-cleanser.

Sometimes you want to forego the elevator pitch, the power grip and the business cards. You want to mix it up a little and talk about profoundly stupid and/or profoundly thought-provoking things with someone you don't already know very well (outside of a philosophical debate with that guy in Dupont Circle who's always talking to himself). You don't want to worry about forgetting to take off your nametag when you board the Metro - or about your nametag sticking to your hair.

You just want to have a fun, informal yet satisfying conversation. Business may transpire...or it may not.

I thought I was a freak for needing a break from pimping The Brand Called Me 24/7 - until I read an article in today’s New York Times

THE writer Po Bronson said that creative professionals today are overwhelmed by pressures to market themselves at every level of their life and career that “what they are craving is the informality” of such events.

Is there a likemind group here in DC? I wondered, and perused the roster on the website…

Austin, Boulder, Vermont, all the crunchy places…plus all the socialist foreign places, too.

But no DC group...yet. Anyone up for a cultural challenge?

6 Comments:

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Marissa said...

Count me in. Seriously.

 
At 5:19 PM, Anonymous CL said...

That sounds like a neat idea! I almost feel like the traditional concept of networking is so interwoven with the DC "politicking" mindset that it wouldn't translate quite as well here though.

 
At 9:57 PM, Anonymous noah brier said...

We'd love to have you. Just find a place, a co-host and fill out the form at http://likemind.us/contact.php

Thanks :)

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger media concepts said...

If you come to Southern California, you will rarely be asked what school you went to. But you will be asked what film you acted in/wrote/directed/produced/promoted/did the camera work for/did the sound for/did the makeup for. And in NY City, you'd be asked how much money you make, and everyone else will volunteer to you how much they make. At least until this past month.

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger globalchameleon said...

Outstanding - thanks Noah!

 
At 7:58 AM, Blogger globalchameleon said...

True, Media Concepts, very true - On the train back from NYC, I overheard the guys behind me discussing their earnings in great detail - weirded me out a bit. In Colorado, where I used to live, people would ask you which mountain you climbed that day - made an ordinary 45-minutes-at-the-gym fitness regime feel quite weak and unadventurous.

 

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