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Success Story #1 Wen: Expand Your Network

If you don't [network], your life and professional circle will gradually become smaller.

The above image, attributed to benzoix on Freepik is for illustration purpose

Meet Wen, Social Science PhD Candidate from April 2023 Networking Bootcamp | Navigator and learn how Growbie helped her in networking!


Please tell us about your your background

Wen: Hello future Growbies! My name is Wen, and I am currently a PhD candidate in social sciences. My research focuses on public land recreation management and planning. Over the past few years, I have been balancing my doctoral studies while working as a full-time lecturer at my school. Last year, I made a decision to resign from my position as a lecturer, leave academia, and embark on a new career path.


Why do you think networking is important?

Wen: I did not realize the importance of networking until when the need to begin networking arose. If you don't consciously set a goal to continuously meet new people and maintain existing social connections, your life and professional circle will gradually become smaller. Without channels to learn about the world beyond your immediate surroundings, your understanding of the job market and your own situation can become distorted. When I decided to leave academia, I realized that apart from my colleagues at work and my peers/mentors from college, I didn't have anyone else to consult or provide me with recommendations.


​Why did you choose Growbie?

Wen: I came across numerous posts and articles discussing how Ph.D. holders successfully transitioned to non-academic careers, and the common thread was the importance of networking. Many individuals shared how networking played a pivotal role in securing job offers, and some even offered advice on initiating cold reach-outs.

Inspired by these insights, I devised a networking plan, revamping my LinkedIn profile and crafting multiple versions of cold messages for testing. However, the results were not as promising as I had hoped, with only about 1 out of 10 people responding to my outreach.

Fortuitously, I came across an interview on Bilibili featuring Jashin, where she shared a couple of networking tips, including cold message writing techniques. Implementing [Jashin's] advice immediately boosted my response rate from 10% to 80%. This experience convinced me of the effectiveness of their networking strategies. After watching more of Jashin's content on RED, I signed up Growbie Networking bootcamp.


Share a Growbie moment! - a moment that you step outside of your comfort zone to explore possibilities and that leads to personal growth.

Wen: Well, this question is a bit tricky. I feel like my decision to resign was a step outside my comfort zone and a readiness for change. Before quitting, I felt stuck in a rut, both in my personal life and at work, with no room for growth or opportunities. I was also worried that years of passivity would lead to wasted potential.

But I'm really glad Growbie was there to accompany me on this transformation. Setting up coffee chats wasn't an instant process; it took a long time and required focus and persistence to make a change. As an INFP, I'd write a cold message but lacked the courage to hit the send button. Other times, I'd feel nervous before a coffee chat or force myself to meet my networking goals.

I often felt anxious and timid, but whenever I reached out in the group, many Growbie cohorts replied and cheered me on. All these countless moments brought noticeable changes—I'm less anxious now, more confident, and I have a deeper understanding of what I want to do and what I don't. I've learned to handle failure and rejection with greater ease. I've met many people, some of whom have become good friends and mentors.

Using the [networking ]techniques I learned, I even dealt with my academic advisor in a more effective way, and he stopped ignoring me. In the end, I received a job offer.


Learn More About Growbie Networking Bootcamp

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