During a recent consultation a client expressed his frustrations about not feeling cool enough.  He had been attending high-end parties, networking events, and conferences, all in an effort to “fit into the scene” and be hired by the industry leaders: “My work is just as good...why aren’t they giving me the time of day?...I feel like I’m back in high school!”

The sentiment sounded all too familiar, like a teen movie out of the 80s.  The artistic yet awkward main character pining to go  to the prom with the head cheerleader or be asked out by richest guy at school. 

They wallow, they study the cool clique, they finagle a deal to get closer to their idols.  In the end there were two outcomes; they were ousted and went back to mowing lawns or sewing pink dresses until eventually being accepted by their loves for who they really are...or (better yet) their quirky best friend took off her glasses and realized they had what they wanted in front of them whole time! 

In this visual streaming world it’s easy for our FOMO to get the best of us...to pine after the “in-crowd.”  You may not get invited to the exclusive party, receive a timely response to your email, or be hired by the prom queen because they can’t appreciate who you really are right away....but the person standing next to you at the party does.  The people who recognize and understand you and your work are the ones that will lead to the right job opportunities and cultivating worthwhile relationships. 

It’s easy to look up, but sometimes all you really need to do is look around to find your “in crowd.”