Apprenticeship Patterns: Kindred Spirits

This week I read through Kindred Spirits from Chapter 2. This pattern is reflects on the stage of life of an apprentice who feels like they might not fit in entirely well with a company’s culture, perhaps because they have different interests or a different level of enthusiasm. Perhaps your organization is not very tight-knit and you’d prefer it to be. The solution is to make sure you reach out to meet those who are like you, and that you actively stay involved in what those people are doing. Read books, remember names, and attend meet-ups. Even getting coffee from time to time and discussing ideas can help immensely when your work life isn’t feeling satisfactory. You may even find yourself in a spot where you are offered a position to work alongside those kindred spirits who are just like you.

I found this pattern pretty interesting because, due to graduation coming up, I personally have been pretty concerned about finding a work environment that I really enjoy — as I’m sure everyone is from time to time. I know that I’m someone who seeks to get involved in the places I spend my time, and that if I join a company it is important to me that I’m not coming into work, getting things done, and then leaving. I want to find coworkers that I connect with, work that I can get invested in, and people who are enthusiastic and encouraging. From what I’ve heard and from what the chapter suggests, organizations that a truly encouraging are often few and far between. It may not even be the entire company, it could just be that those you who associate with on a day to day basis are not quite as enthusiastic about your work as you are. As a result, I really enjoyed the tips that this pattern suggested. Make sure you remember those who are similar to you and who have shared goals in mind, and that you keep those people as close as possible.

It’s important to keep track of who you meet, who inspires you, who knows what you know and is passionate about what you’re passionate about. Make lists of communities and try to get involved in them. One thing I’d like to do personally is to attend some software conferences — I know there are plenty and I know many are not outrageously expensive, so it’d be a really great way to meet people and make connections. It’s important to keep those you you mesh well with close to you, as those people will provide you with opportunity and friendship like no others.

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