‘The quietest person in the room is usually the smartest’ is a quote we all relate to; it has been shared and reposted on various online platforms and framed on walls. Ostensibly, the phrase draws a correlation between being smart and being quiet, or observant. While that may have some truth, it also raises the question, what is the value of being smart without it getting noticed?
In today’s competitive world, the best in opportunities and rewards go to the most adaptive, most aggressive, and most visible. What this means is that one has to be the best among the rest but it doesn’t end there; one also has to be visible in order to be noticed among the pool of many other qualified and equally deserving youth.
Luckily for present-day youth, networking and noticeability has been made much easier than it has ever been. Learning institutions and corporate organizations are all competing in bringing networking and capacity-building opportunities closer to their students and staff, and this shouldn’t be taken for granted. Even more interesting is the availability of online spaces to network and build profiles right on our phones’ screens.
However, the availability of networking meetings and social sites is not enough, how one uses such opportunities to their advantage makes all the difference. In campus especially, such meetings and workshops are unfortunately attended as ‘unavoidable rituals’ with attention always diverted. The same can be said for work-related workshops and training where the fear of consequences of missing motivates the attendance more than the desire to network or build on one’s image and profile.
Advertisers argue that no product is desirable enough to not need advertising, and in justification, suppose that without advertisements, businesses lose both existing and prospective customers. Our skills, knowledge, and qualifications are the goods we offer, why shouldn’t we then advertise them?
With a purpose-driven attitude and desire to be better than we are, we can always turn all conversations, meetings, and trainings to be levers to better opportunities. One could be exactly what a life coach, business partner, or prospective employer is looking for but it takes a chat, conversation, or speech to make that happen.
You probably are the smartest in a given area in that room, why should you shy away and miss life-changing opportunities?