We’ve all heard the saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Even so, they don’t teach it at school. For the past year or so, Matt and I have been taking the kids to evening work events put on by one of the professional circles we mix with. Taking the kids along to these events means they become familiar faces to some of the people we know, and vice versa. There are lots of other incidental benefits worthy of other work/life balance blogs, but where Teenage Budget is concerned, we wanted to introduce our kids to people who they may be able to reach out to for their first internships or works experience opportunities later on. This is certainly the kind of social engineering a parent takes on, but what I’d never thought about, was the networking kids are unconsciously doing on their own, whenever they become familiar faces at a corner store or takeaway shop.
Mr14 has been routinely spending part of his living allowance on hot chips from the nearby fish & chip shop. He’s in there so often, ordering chips with extra chicken salt that, soon enough, the owner of shop came to know him by his order and struck up a conversation. He asked Mr14 whether he had a job, to which he brought up the flyer distribution, and a deal was struck. Mr14 would deliver a box of a thousand menus for $50 cash. That’s $5 more per 1000 than the flyer distribution company, and, if he lines up to deliver menus at the same time as he has another letterbox run going, he doubles his money for the same time and effort out walking. He’s yet to coordinate both to happen at once, but he has just collected his first $50 cash payment, and can now claim he has his first direct client and he created that relationship entirely without us.