When you are on the Mothership, you have a whole load of opportunities at your fingertips. You are part of an ecosystem that constantly changing and reforming, which creates new requirements and roles on a continual basis. You may be approached directly to get involved in a project, apply for a position, or hear about something through the ‘jungle network’, the fastest, most vibrant and possibly least accurate communication network in the business. Things pop up, serendipitous conversations in the corridor or at a meeting open new doors that you weren’t even aware of. If you are alert, keep your ear to the ground and maintain a friendly relationship with everyone you come into contact with, stuff will come and find you.
You’re probably not aware of this easy access to opportunities when you are there. Some of the time you actually close it down, shutting out the noise and babble around you so that you can focus on a priority task. Once you are done, however, it’s fairy easy to pick up the connections and plug back in.
Needless to say, that’s not the case when you have left the Mothership. Opportunities have to sought and fought for. This requires new skills and approaches. You’ve never had to allocate time to this before but now you do, as well as going through the learning curve of finding out how to do it. In fact, you may find out that it’s a struggle and you are not really suited to this sort of activity.
Some people go and get training on this, others partner with people who do have abilities and aptitude in this area. To some extent it is unavoidable but then, in truth, you always put a bit of effort into this on the Mothership.
Some people find it is difficult but they can master it, others that they have a real aptitude and they really enjoy it. Some struggle and have to find people to help and support them. It’s a process of self-discovery that you have to go through to find out what works for you, what the best arrangement is for you.
On the Mothership, you could be like a sea anemone, sitting in the current and sifting through what passes until you found something tasty. Now, you have to be more like a like fish, swimming around and exploring the sea until you find a source of food.
Now, there will be no end of people telling you that you have got to be a hustler, a predator, shark-like in your pursuit of your prey. This is nonsense. It might be a popular stereotype but that’s not how most people go about finding opportunities and making sales.
You do have to put effort in to find a source of food and be pro-active but there are lots of other types of fish in the sea. Many work together as a school or a shoal, sharing the risk and rewards with each other, working together for mutual benefit.
So you have to stop being a sea anemone and get mobile and actively look for opportunities. Be more fish.