|Alumni stories - Lukas Charitonovas|
Breaking the routine
by Lukas Charitonovas, former JSA President
Even if you have a year or two of studies left, one day, not far from today, you will be a JIBS alumnus. This letter is about one important aspect which will change once you have left the university. It's about daily routine, but from a different angle. Let's talk about two things in particular – unexpected job offers and unexpected friendships.
"When you are a student, it's pretty easy to break the routine."
When you are a student, it's pretty easy to break the routine. You can go on a trip almost immediately if you really want to. You can go abroad to work or intern with little effort. You can easily take a year off and do something else. And in the meantime you meet new people, are exposed to new ideas and information.
When you start working, routine becomes much more common. Exposure to new people, places, unexpected ideas and information tends to decrease. Sometimes, same-old-routine is the only thing you have. And that's a problem. A problem for a different reason than you might expect. In 1973, a researcher, named Mark Granovetter, published a research paper called "The Strength of Weak Ties". In this article, Mark pointed out that you are much more likely to get a job through random acquaintances than your close friends. Other research also notes that breakthrough ideas often come from random events.
"Unexpected progress and breakthroughs often come from influences outside of our routine groups and routine tasks."
Importance of random events and acquaintances is logical, once we think about it. People in our close circles tend to think in a similar fashion, access similar information. They might even know the same people as we do. Therefore, it is logical that our routine will rarely produce unexpected events or unexpected progress. Instead, unexpected progress and breakthroughs often come from influences outside of our routine groups and routine tasks. It is important to break the routine.
When I thought about this myself, I noticed that some of my closest friends came from seemingly random events. I once got an email from a person I had never even seen. Today, this person is a very close friend. Another time, I was hesitating whether or not I should go to an event. I really wanted to attend the event, but nobody wanted to join me and the event was in another country. In the end, I went alone. Today, two of my closest friends are people I met at that event. In my life, these are not rare exceptions. A while back, I needed to collect some information on traineeships, so I picked up the phone and called an unknown person with some seemingly embarrassing questions. Unexpectedly, that call ended up in a job offer, and a good one at that.
Think about your own achievements, events, friendships and generally things which you are proud of. How many of them came from random and unexpected events? I suspect that random and unexpected events had a large influence on your life.
"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"
With this article, I would like to suggest to make a habit of "breaking the routine". To meet new people on a regular basis. To attend new events and seek exposure to new ideas and different viewpoints. Try new things. When was the last time you did something for the first time? In the end, these seemingly small and invisible things, make a world of difference.