Notorious yarn-weaver Reuben, founder of London’s most factually incorrect walking tour Bullshit London, lends us his brain and delves into the thorny art of networking, bullshit style.
Time is money and money is time. So logically speaking in the time it takes you to read this, you are spending time and therefore should be losing money. If not you soon will be.
While we are on the topic, who are you? We’ve already established that you’re literate and intelligent with excellent taste in reading materials. Alternatively, you’re a stubborn, drooling homunculus, honking with glee as you take in the incomprehensible hieroglyphs in front of you.
Either way. I think we can work together. Is this work? Well it probably is. How could we even tell anymore? Modern work is a very diffuse entity. Workplaces are confusing. For one thing they won’t stay put. We placed them firmly into the office two or three hundred years ago. But now like the naughty toddlers that they are, they have escaped the crib. And like complacent parents, we’re not quite sure where they’ve got to or what they’re doing.
What about that businessman squatted down next to the llama enclosure doing a business deal? People are working on trains and buses. People are secretly working away in lifts.
People work from home now. A lot of people do that, and cafés are full of people working. It’s not just zoo keepers that do their work at the zoo. What about that businessman squatted down next to the llama enclosure doing a business deal? People are working on trains and buses. People are secretly working away in lifts.
Work itself? Work has got Cray-zay. Work has rebranded, to defend itself from the creeping suspicion that it’s mostly pointless. Work is increasingly short term and unstable. The only visible escape is a creative job. Follow the words of Alan Watts or Steve Jobs. Do what you love. Make your dreams come true. Find your perfect job. That is the very maxim of our age.
But how are you going to get this job? Well even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, rest assured most jobs still require you to do stuff that you probably don’t want to do in exchange for money (take it from me, I’ve had a few).
So why should creative jobs be any different? Its still a JOB remember. It just requires you to do stuff you don’t want to do in a creative way. Or else be creative about the whole concept of work. Why not turn the whole thing on its head and do stuff that other people don’t want you to do?
Don’t wait for permission, start doing things that other people don’t want you to do today.
It’s always best to take the initiative, after all the creative industries are very competitive.
Don’t wait for permission, start doing things that other people don’t want you to do today. To begin with, do things that other people don’t want you to do for no money so that you can flesh out your portfolio.
And then once you have some experience you will need to network….
Networking is literally what human beings do everywhere. All the time. It’s just normal human interaction. Except it’s not. It’s work. So therefore it must be made into something that someone doesn’t enjoy. Human interaction made unpleasant, but profitable. In the creative world everyone is potential employer or client or target market for whatever it is that you have to offer. And nowadays our main products are ourselves (who said manufacturing was dead?).
So with that in mind, here are my top networking tips:
1. Use your social media presence to aggressively market yourself and your lifestyle. Relentlessly share your own pride in your existence. Cooked a meal? Photograph it. Have someone in your life you are fond of? Spread that love around. Had a healthy bowel movement? Photograph it and put it online. Finally, if you get a good rating for it, then for heaven’s sake don’t keep that information to yourself. If people get annoyed, ignore them. Haters gonna hate.
2. Networking is a lot like dating. You don’t want to give out your details too easily, and you want to be remembered. Make sure you are remembered like a precious jewel at a museum. Enticing but out of reach; don’t give away business cards gratuitously like some cheap floozy. Why not laser print your twitter handle onto the wings of a butterfly? Then when enough people at the event have asked for your contact details release the butterfly and hand the interested parties a net each. Make them work. They will appreciate it more.
3. Don’t waste time getting on with people. Remember that work is supposed to be unpleasant. So make your networking as unpleasant as possible. Ask people for jobs outright. Before you know who they are or what they do.
4. Always get drunk.
5. Never be humble.
6. Finally, never forget. Networking is only ever one small step away from newt working.
Says it all, right? If you’re lucky enough to be coming to Raft, you can experience Reuben’s insight and wit first hand as he takes you on your very own Bullshit Tour of Falmouth, wending your way into an evening of even more brain-tickling inspiration.
Raft Tickets are available now from the Stranger Shop. So what are you waiting for?