Mrs. Bachhuber“I recall how later in life, I heard my Mom say, ‘I like what I know.’ The comment caught me by surprise as I reflected on its truth. Our talents are usually the intersection of our interests and our abilities or knowledge. It’s what we do best. It’s why we get hired to do a specific job.” Our passion for work starts with liking what we know.” (Tom’s Journal)

Reflections for Work

When I’m speaking or coaching on the art and science of networking, people seem incredulous that a stranger would want to talk to them. The common view of networking is asking a friend what they know about job opportunities. True networking is believing you have something important to say or ask in your field and finding the right opportunity to execute the conversation. Easier said than done, but it begins with believing in yourself—and doing deep research into the important issues of your work. When you own that new knowledge you’ll be confident about sharing it.

So, my mom does have things to teach me. Even now. She also had this wonderful, respectful way of letting you know when she was ready to end a conversation. She would say, “I guess that’s all I know.” On a deeper level, it also says to me that we each have limits to our knowledge and expertise—and need to know when to just listen. Asking questions should take over for making pronouncements, usually resulting in a more impressed partner in networking, interviewing or conversation.

Jack Falvey, business writer from way back in 1987, has some timeless inspiration for us. Successful transitions require us to get out in the rain, where it’s cold and wet. But that’s where the lightning is. It’s scary out there with people we don’t know, but as relationships grow, they are often the ones who can make a difference in our journey.

Ponder

Where does interest, ability and knowledge come together for you? How can this be shaped into an observation or question which someone in your field would like to discuss?

How can I get by the myth that no one wants to meet with me to discuss important happenings in my field?

What new research might I do to gain some important knowledge or insights?

Thomas Bachhuber, Ed.D., President of the Board and Executive DirectorTom Bachhuber is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Center for Life Transitions, Inc. TRANSPIRATIONS: Guidance for the Head & Heart Through Career and Beyond (Caritas Communications) is his first book incorporating spirituality as it relates to career, work and retirement transitions. This excerpt is from the book.