"I'm not on the inside."
Have you ever heard that excuse from some sad seeker of employment? Have you ever lowered yourself to employ the excuse yourself? My guess if you've encountered one if not both cases.
It's a common story – and a common excuse. People think they can't succeed because they're not part of the "inside" the elite group, the . . . well whatever elite or group or team of influencers that makes things happen. We fear we're not connected, never going to be connected, and are thus going to fail.
I won't lie – connections are important in career and life. Networking and being connected pays off in far more ways than just a job search. Decrying it however misses the point.
You're not "on the inside"? Then build your own inside. In fact, you're a progeek, you have an entire "inside" just waiting to happen.
If you feel like you're disconnected from the world, from success, from opportunities, in short from the "insiders" then go and build your own inside. Go and make allies, make connections, and find ways to build your own in-group, your own team, your own connections. Form that writer's group, form that alliance of game programmers, heck, go and form that new company.
We geeks have huge amount of resources available to build our own "inside":
- We are wired and connected by technology. We know how to communicate fast, we know how to communicate a lot of information.
- We have our common cultures so we can rally fast. Otaku, gamers, romance readers, hard science fiction fans, and so on are fan cultures that have large groups of people who speak the same language and have similar interests. You have the ability to hook up with people of similar interests and ambitions easily.
- We have our rallying points. Conventions, gaming-get-togethers, message boards, book releases. We progeeks, profanes, and protaku have a massive amount of networking opportunities available as part of our culture.
- We are moving fast and aware of what's going on. We know what's happening in the world of media, technology, and more – because we're into it. We can use this to connect with others, adapt fast – and more easily predict the future for our ambitions.
- We are finally hip. Geek is chic, nerd is the word. People want what we make, code, write, and do. Let's leverage it!
RIght now you have the ability to build your own "inside" as a geek, fanboy, fangirl, or otaku. You have the tools, technology, and culture to make allies, build teams, and make things happen. You may even connect up with the other "insides" as you do it.
Build your own "inside", my progeeks and profans.