Power play.

gabe loves flowers   little red fence

Today Gabe is wearing a brown sweatshirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.

Today I am thinking about how very soon I will be in France. In fact, it’s exactly two weeks away!

I’m feeling very excited, but a little overwhelmed also. Ten hours on a plane is a longer trip than I’ve done in a while, and I’m growing concerned about things like how to tactfully tell my seatmate that I’m so sorry to wake him at 2am but I absolutely must go to the bathroom right now, and how to gracefully exit a plane after ten hours without looking like a monster in sweatpants.

Because landing in Paris in sweatpants just feels…wrong.

I suppose it will be all about careful planning, and outfit changes, and strategic face-washing hunched over a tiny sink in a questionably clean (actually, no, just definitely not clean) airplane bathroom. And sleep. And staying hydrated. But not too hydrated. Oh boy.

Before I leave, I have some networking to do (I’ve decided). There are a few events coming up that I am genuinely interested in (cool companies, interesting speakers), so in spite of every bone in my body saying, “Kate, what are you doing?”, I am doing it. Because it’s important. And it’s not that bad! Right? Right.

At the last event I went to, I only had to briefly hide in the bathroom once. So there.

I hate and love how important relationships are for your career. I hate it because I am an introvert. But I love it because relationships don’t just help you get ahead, but they actually affect your ability to feel empowered in your career just day to day — even when you’re not looking to switch jobs or get promoted. It’s exciting to know people, and be known, and it can make you feel like anything is possible.

Because (as I say in every blog post I write for work) people make things possible. I just read a blog post I loved that made that same basic point, and it reminded me just how important it is to fight the urge to stay curled up in my living room, and actually go outside and smile and say hello to new people.

When I was in my hometown recently, I reluctantly gave a friend who has been struggling to find work for over a year the advice to network and talk to people in his field. And I hated to do it, because everyone who doesn’t want to network just *hates* hearing how important it is. I am shy and *I* hate hearing about it. But I also know it’s true that it’s important.

And I wish I’d been able to explain how good knowing people is for your confidence, whether or not it helps you get a job. Because knowing people means you have more options than you had before. And options make you powerful. And that makes putting in one more job application feel a little less futile.

And it makes it feel like — well, I don’t have a big idea today. I’m really happy with where I am and learning so much and if things don’t change for a while, that’s totally fine. That’s ideal, actually. But one day if I do have a big idea, I know I’ll have people to ask for advice and help and wisdom. Which is pretty cool.

Anyways, I’m going to France in two weeks and I am really excited.

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