I realized in addition to survival skills, you're going to need people to help you along the way.
I've been to so many networking events and conferences I have lost count on how many business cards passed through my hands. One regret is not taking note of the special people that come my way. The people who can get you out of sticky situations when you find yourself cornered. The people who can bail you out or vouch for you when you are need the extra help.
If you're going to so many networking events, it's good to develop a network of people you can develop a professional relationship with. Call this your "plan B network" if your friends and family can't help you. I am constantly jealous of people who are well connected. They have connections in high places that most normal people, like myself, can't dream of.
Networking events are in fact the best place to expand your network for career and personal objectives. The difficult part is maintaining the relationship (save for another blog) and not just using them for what they can offer.
Rules of engagement:
- If you can't keep the professional relationship going, don't bother asking for the favor.
- Likewise, put yourself out there for whatever service you can provide
- Don't abuse the privileged and don't flaunt it.
1. People with access to a private jet
2. Secretaries! (Any secretary to any official because they can "squeeze you in" for an appointment if they like you well enough)
3. Marketing/PR people for hotels, restaurants, and bars (Can you smell the freebies coming your way?)
4. Someone in borders and customs
5. Someone who previously/is working in the IRS
6. Real Estate broker
7. Financial broker (My friend Jed offered to help with reinvesting my mom's retirement money in the Philippines)
8. Airline employees (When my friend Roland found out his grandma suddenly died he was able to get an emergency buddy pass from a friend of ours, Marybeth, because her mom works for United Airlines)
9. Electronics sales associate
10. Car dealership sales associate
11. A cop (usually name dropping when you're pulled over gets you off with a "warning")
12. Event organizers/managers (I had an experience when I knew the event organizer for a concert! He let my friends and I through security and got us front row tickets for free)
13. A "really god lawyer" because legal shit is tricky and you need someone on your red corner if the government/enemies are in the blue corner (Thank you @roxiemacasang)
If you have anymore ideas to add to my list, let me know!