August 17, 2012

Bulk view

Thinking about ways to help people who are in between

A number of people I know are in transition, looking for their next job. Some people are giving the independent lifestyle a try. What can I do to support people?

Let me break this question down in order to make it easier to think about.

What do I know? I know about building a reputation and growing your network by sharing what you know and what you’re learning online. Many people are curious about this, but don’t know where to start. I can help them start sharing. This isn’t something for immediate payoffs, but it’s a great professional habit. I also know the basics of consulting, and I can help people get started. I know about lots of books on career advice and entrepreneurship, too. I know Web development with Drupal, Rails, and WordPress, and I can help people learn. I know what it’s like to be an immigrant, and what it’s like to be introverted.

Who do I know? I know tech meetup organizers and participants in Toronto. I know enterprise social business consultants. I know mobile, web, and open source developers and designers. I know marketers. I know writers and bloggers. I know independent consultants, freelancers, and startup founders. I know sketchnote artists and illustrators. I know virtual assistants. I can help people with informational interviews, and I want to get even more organized in terms of keeping notes on what people want and what people can offer.

What do I have? I have sketches and notes from business and technology books, meetups, and products. I have a place where people can get together. I have a website where I can share ideas. I have a fledgling that’s doing well. I have blog posts from my business experience.

What can I do? I can keep in touch with people, especially those who feel suddenly cut off from their professional networks. I can help people get started in freelancing by coaching them, referring clients, and connecting them with people who have complementary skills. I can help people brainstorm ideas, stay motivated, and improve their communication. I can share what I’m learning from business. I can cheer them on as a friend.

Are people around you in between opportunities too? How can you help?