Saturday, May 8, 2010

Legit Free Stuff part 4: Network!

Networking is a fancy way of saying, "Get a lot of friends who can help you do stuff." I always thought it was just for, you know, "business types", but even just having a big group of friends can open up a lot of doors. Even if you just start a skill-trade with a few people, you can easily acquire things you need (did I mention haircuts?), and offer your own skills without ever exchanging cash.

Many great things have come to me from the connections I've made at my jobs. I got a couch, dresser, vacuum cleaner, and a huge bag of bath stuff from my old manager when she moved back to Japan. Plus, I have several contacts in Japan who can help me out should I find myself there. Keep your eyes and ears open, and remember to give back as good as you get. The karma will come back to you eventually.

Oftentimes, all it takes is just admitting that you're having a hard time financially, and people will want to help you. I've been offered food, rides to work when I didn't have money for train fare, etc. It's less about being a mooch than it is about giving and receiving help—remember that thing about giving back? At the very least, let anyone who does you a favor know how much you truly appreciate it, and let them know that you'll be there for them when they need it.

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