Over the last few months, I’ve noticed an abundance of people looking for a new job, quitting or being let go. For most people, this is an incredibly stressful time and trying to find a new job can be a long and arduous process. Looking back at those people who left their job just a few months or even weeks ago, though, the majority of them have found success and are relatively unscathed, and many are doing even better.
So what did these people all have in common? They all had what I like to call a ‘trust fall community.’ Do you remember doing the trust fall team exercise as a kid at summer camp? This is a very similar and real-life example of the concept; one that I personally exercised just a month and a half ago.
When I was in a job that I knew wasn’t a good fit, I didn’t have time to wait around for the perfect job to find me before putting in my resignation. While leaving a job without another one lined up isn’t usually considered best practice, I decided to take the leap and have faith that my trust fall community would be there to support me. Boy, did they deliver.
Within three short weeks, I was back, as a full-time contractor with a wide variety of projects that I was ecstatic to be working on. How did this happen? Referrals, introductions and people in my community helping to lift me up in my time of need. Looking back, I can’t say I’ve always had such a strong community, so I wouldn’t suggest everyone pick up and quit a job their unhappy with just yet.
That being said, here are 8 keys I’ve found to building a trust fall community so when the time comes, you can take the leap of faith, too.
- Make time for face time. This is huge for me. I think in order to really solidify relationships, it’s important to be there, in person with people. It may not be all that frequently, but when you can, make it count.
- Volunteer for causes you believe in. Not only does this provide a great outlet for exploring your passions, it also gets you around like-minded people. House of Genius and Phoenix Startup Week are two great outlets for me personally. For those looking to make a leap, this can be a great way to explore a new career path.
- Be genuine. No matter how many hands you shake or people you meet, it won’t matter if you’re not being yourself. Just be yourself! Even if at times it might seem intimidating, when you act like your normal wonderful self, you’ll attract people who appreciate you for who you are.
- Build relationships, not just connections. Don’t approach meetings or new introductions with the ‘what can they do for me?’ or ‘what can I get out of this?’ attitude. Be present and first focus on building a relationship. If there’s a potential for something more later on, the opportunity will present itself.
- Use your ‘asks’ sparingly. Every once in a while it’s necessary to ask for help, which is totally okay! Just keep the, ‘boy who cried wolf,’ anecdote in the back of your mind. Asking for too many favors might deter people from wanting to help you at all.
- Return the favor. Don’t forget the people who helped you along the way and that you owe them, sometimes tenfold, in return. It’s important to never feel that you’ve outgrown or are better than those who took the time to help you early on.
- Never ‘expect’ anything. At the end of the day, no one owes you anything. The key to appreciating and making the most of your trust fall community is to give to it without expecting anything in return.
- Be grateful. Be it for a business introduction or the time to pick someone’s brain over coffee, be grateful for people. Let them know that you appreciate them and that you don’t take their generosity for granted.
This concept doesn’t just apply to finding a new job. It can be applied to any hurdle or time you need to turn to others for help. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to build a ‘trust fall community’ so when the time comes (because it will) there are people to turn to.
How have you developed your trust fall community?