SUPERPOWER #5: THE POWER OF NETWORKING
One of the things I love most about the Praxis program is the opportunity it’s given me to connect with really passionate and interesting people. I’m a people person. I love to meet new people and have conversations about all kinds of topics: business, economics, design, music, tv, philosophy. You name it. Praxis has provided a few pathways for me to do this.
First, the Praxis staff is a group of active-minded and friendly people who have tons of knowledge to share and interesting questions to pose. I’ve developed new frames of thinking and gotten a lot of value out reading their blog posts, video conferencing with them, or emailing with them. One of my advisers spent over an hour helping me refine all the copy on my website and Linked In profile. That input will continue to provide me values for years to come. Besides all this, they are also just cool people who are fun to know and talk to.
Second, the Praxis participants are a great group of peers. I love that verse that says “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” That is how I feel about my connection with other participants. They have provided feedback and encouragement on my work in the program, and I do the same for them. In general, most participants are eager to meet in person and genuinely get to know one another. I have become great friends or acquaintances with many of the participants already.
Third, the Praxis group calls have been a great way to connect with experts in their fields. Every group call I’ve been on has been extremely informative and valuable. The guests are interactive and eager to engage with participants through Q and A. They have always offered their contact information and encouraged participants to connect with them. I even got a job interview by simply contacting one of the guests after our group call and expressing interest in their line of work. (I highly recommend taking advantage of the group calls if you are in the program).
Fourth, the Praxis network has directly or indirectly given me opportunities for professional development outside the official capacity of the apprenticeship. I recently reviewed my graphic design portfolio and discovered that 33% of my projects in there have come from work I got through the Praxis Workplace (which I have been a part of for 6 months) or through word-of-mouth from other participants. People in the network are writing and editing books, looking for freelancers to do work for their business partners, or posting work someone they know needs to be done. Plus, when one considers that the Praxis network will only continue to grow as new participants join and old participants grow in their careers, it becomes apparent that the value of the network is only going to increase with time.
I know at least one participant believes access to the network alone is worth the cost of tuition, and I’m inclined to agree. I am amazed at the quality of people I’ve met, and the potential for future opportunities I may have through these connections.