Before I started my PhD, I came across this wisdom that would change my life forever. I don’t remember anymore from whom I got this tip from originally but I’ve heard it many times since then from various outlets like Jordan Harbinger show, the Serendipity Mindset book, etc. Ever since I have started applying this advice to my life, it has opened up to great opportunities that I would not have gotten otherwise. I won’t keep you waiting any longer, the wisdom is simply this: don’t be afraid to reach out to strangers.
As an introvert and a naturally anxious person, it was difficult for me to initiate in the past. But then, imagining the worst case scenario made me realize that the worst thing that can happen is that the recipient ignores my email, never to remember my name ever again.
I’ve gotten internships, opportunities to travel and speak, met fascinating people just by this small advice. I typically just message people either on LinkedIn or email about something that interests me about what them or what they have done recently. If I read an interesting paper, I message the author. If I see somebody giving a fascinating talk, I contact the speaker.
I was doing it on and off. I never really made it a habit to message people religiously. I also never tracked the number of positive responses I’ve received.
As an experiment, I’ll start doing this more consistently and systematically from this point onward. I will message one person every weekday. I will be tracking my results in this blog.