By Deborah Vrabel
I want to create a new kind of networking event–one designed specifically for introverts, idealists, and iconoclasts.
With the typical “networking” event, jobseekers walk around and talk to people about what they do and are interested in doing–displaying how stylish, likeable, articulate, and charismatic they can be–hoping someone will give them a lead or at least keep their card.
Think Pond networking events will be opportunities to create, ask good questions, and share ideas. Your mind, your imagination, your passion will speak for you.
By Deborah Vrabel
Pinpointing when and how the Think Pond concept originated is difficult. There was a moment when the name came to me and a conversation that inspired that moment, but Think Pond ripples across decades of language, ideas, relationship, observation, experience, and yearning.
Still I think it best to begin with Now–because Now is the epicenter of everything. Now contains the reasons anyone would care about this venture.
Today’s Think Pond links to recent conversations I’ve had with people who have gifts they are eager to share and aspirations that lie outside these things we have invented called “jobs” and “career paths.” Some of them have great jobs, good pay, and work they love and want to keep doing. But they had to shed a cherished piece of their dreams to have it. They had to re-channel much of their learning, their skill, their imagination, and their time in one direction.
I’ve talked with people who are underemployed, underutilized, or under-credentialed. Some are over 50, struggling to make sense of the technological tectonics that dwarf even the Industrial Revolution. They’re yearning to share or maybe reframe knowledge they gained over the years but they lack the platform, the tools, the apps. Others are just starting out and are facing tough choices in a tough economy. They’re finding they need to learn constantly and widely, to find a creative outlet, to think like entrepreneurs. Some of them are struggling to be great parents without compromising the work they love. Some are stalled, their unique, amazing gifts kept in check because of obstacles that could be easily removed with some mentoring, tech support, feedback, or sometimes just a bit of encouragement.
All those stories–told by people representing a range of ages, professions, education and income levels, and talents–leave me with these questions:
- What richness, what knowledge, what solutions are we losing?
- What if people could craft their jobs based on what they have to give and want to give the world?