This thing about growing another layer of skin

Last Thursday, Adeo spoke about going to people higher up in the hierarchy as a way to by-pass gatekeepers. This topic was raised by a fellow FI grad, whose startup deals with providing a solution to local schools and he faced problems getting to decision makers.

“You should go up to the minister of education,” I told him after the session.

“Yea, I’m totally going to ask him for a meeting and expect him to grant it to me,” he replied.

At first, I was offended. Does he think I’m stupid to suggest something that’s impossible?

My second thought was, “Oh well, this guy doesn’t know his market well enough to know that there’s this thing called Meet the People session.”

Then I thought, bloody hell, going up to someone to ask for a meeting totally can be done.

How hard is it to google up an email address, send an email, or even park yourself outside the target’s office and wait for that precious few seconds of crossing path, if that target is really important?

I’m not an out-going person. I hate networking.

(Speaking of networking, I don’t just go up and talk to people I meet on the train or in the mall. But the concept of ‘networking’ requires me to do just that, so I hate it. Much rather to meet new people via my current friends, like how it’s done naturally. Ugh, hate networking.)

But more than networking, I’ll hate myself if I can’t speak to someone I need to just because I find it unnatural.

And I think you should do so too.


Elisha Tan is the Founder of TechLadies. TechLadies is a community for women in Asia to connect, learn, and advance as programmers in the tech industry. Elisha is also the Developer Programs Regional Lead for Asia Pacific at Facebook.


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