Revamp your Rolodex with tips from this pro, Andy Whelan! Illustration by Rob Goodman.
Think about the people who have made the biggest impact on your life — the friends, family, and teachers who have invested in you as a person. They push you to be better, can be a sounding board for bold new ideas, and have your back when you’re facing life’s harshest challenges.
The road to professional success can be tumultuous, and as you navigate the highs and lows, it’s equally important to have these kinds of people in your work life, too. Rewarding professional relationships are critical to your career and need to be nurtured as authentically as ties to friends and family. If you find yourself floating around solo on your jobs journey, there’s a good chance you may be doing it wrong.
When it comes to building a reliable professional community, we could all benefit by taking a lesson from career guru, speaker, and teacher Andy Whelan, a career coach at General Assembly’s San Francisco campus.
Salman came to General Assembly as an engineer looking for a tech community to jump into. He ended up as a beloved Back-End Web Development instructor, both in New York City and San Francisco. Realizing the importance of “soft skills” for developers, he started the Laugh & Learn newsletter to provide a well-rounded continued learning experience for his students and job-seeking techies.
Whether you’re looking to found your own startup or wishing to become a part of a budding team, getting acquainted with the New York tech scene can be somewhat overwhelming. To help you navigate your way through this complex web (pun intended), we’ve put together a comprehensive guide full of resources NYC startup enthusiasts use regularly to stay connected, advice to keep in mind as you get started, and places you can go where everyone will know your name (removed for copyright infringement).
“A startup is not a smaller version of a large company. It’s a temporary organization designed to search for a scalable business model.” – Steve Blank
When we founded General Assembly, our idea was simple: we wanted to build a new place to support the growing NYC startup community.
Nearly three years later, when I look back at our early goal, I am astonished – we have overshot that goal by a considerable margin. In a very short time, General Assembly has grown from a collaborative space that a small group within the NYC startup community could call home into a global educational institution that has helped empower nearly 70,000 individuals to pursue work they love.
Throughout this period of intense growth, the original idea has remained constant, even while the scope and scale have changed.
Over the past two and a half years, our community has grown much larger than our amazing co-working members. It now encompasses the tens of thousands of students who’ve come through our doors and the more than 3,000 alumni of our long-form courses, not to mention the hundreds of instructors and the 2,000 hiring partners who come to GA in search of top talent. Similarly, support once meant desks and space, but has come to also mean instruction, opportunity and talent for our students and hiring partners.
It is in this context that we have made the decision to stop offering our coworking services in 2014. It is not a decision we took lightly – but it is a necessary one as we work to expand our global network of students and alumni.