Luul Hussein, Creativity Works alumni and founder of Network & Chill, gives us the low-down.by
'I went to a networking event and all I got was this picture'
I studied Journalism and was in a position that millions of
grads would love to be in - hand picked from 2,500 applicants to work for one
of the biggest media companies in the world. But the truth was that I was in a
boring office job and stuck in a routine. I wasn't challenged creatively, I
wasn't doing what I thought I would be doing, and it wasn't as exciting as I
thought it would be. So I quit.
A year later, I now spend my day thinking of advertising solutions and ideas for clients like Nivea, BMW, Zumba and Havaianas, I've finally launched Network & Chill and I've hit 10,000+ subscribers on YouTube. I still can't quite believe it myself! I get paid to think of ideas? Is that even a thing?
None of this would have been achievable without Create Jobs. The lovely team behind Creativity Works stepped in at the right time, put me in contact with Kati Russell and Natalie Rodden at The Girlhood and let the magic happen. They've supported me since and championed all of my achievements, great or small.
I always held the belief that to get ahead in this industry it's all about who you know, not what you know. What a depressing thought - that your goals and the career of your dreams are only possible if you know a white middle class man in a suit. That your creative output will only see the light of day because of your 'black book', because of your contacts.
I went to tons of networking events, with business cards in tow and my elevator pitch memorised in my Sunday best ready to woo a bunch of suits. I sent all the 'Hello, not sure if you remember me but we met at...' emails I could. I was looking for a break in the industry but with no experience or work to show, it meant these emails usually fell in the junk folder. No-one got back to me.
I realised that people can sniff out desperation from a mile away. You reek of ‘please give me a job’ au de parfum. The moment I started talking to people about everything BUT work or my career aspirations and sending follow up tweets is when things really started to change.
Networking shouldn’t have to be totally transactional. You
should be meeting people who are doing cool things, owning your personality and
having fun whilst doing it! That’s what makes you memorable, not your business
Being able to launch Network & Chill at Life Hacks was major for us and judging from the feedback, its the right type of networking millenials should be doing. Phil Kemish from Disrupt said ‘your network is your networth’ and I couldn’t agree more. I think this applies more to people who have already made their stamp in the industry than to those at the infancy of their career. When companies begin to realise that they need to have a richer network of people behind them, from diverse ethnicities and varying socio-economic backgrounds – the world would be a lot more interesting.
Because after all, not everyone has the confidence to or should have to pounce on CEOs to get people to realise their potential for greatness.