Wilder in Real Life: Who Are You? Yes, You!

By Lauren Wilder

I attended an event where I enjoyed a free concert a few weeks ago where I found a deeper meaning in being in the V.I.P. line. This philosophy came to me days later when I was figuring out my career path with my blue ink pen. While I was in line I thought I was clever for coming early since there was a cap on admission. I stood there with a bunch of people my age who were entertainment marketers, members of Chicago’s hip scene, and a guy who got an email from Kanye West (or so he says). Several people asked me who I was or who was I with? My answer was I’m a journalist and I’m with myself.

Thinking about this makes me chuckle at my naiveté, but I had an epiphany from those questions. I’m a journalist, but what kind? Who or what do I want to represent? Now, I wasn’t even on the V.I.P. list and I found out that I was standing in the wrong line. The entrance for general admission was on the other side of the venue. So, I switched to a line where my name was on this list.

I didn’t care about being “important” that night because my line moved faster and V.I.P.s didn’t get special treatment anyway. But what I do care about is scribbled in a red marble notebook. Here’s the part where I began to analyze this small and, what I thought was, an insignificant moment.

My budding image is being cultivated by publicizing myself, the results of job inquiries, and most importantly networking. My dear readers, I’m sure you understand the power of networking; I am experiencing its wonders and I feel like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’ve found the golden ticket.

From being in the line, I realize that no one knew who I was, hence why they asked. They were trying to decide if I had clout or pull of some sort of something that would make them want to get to know me. I’m pretty sure there was someone in that terribly long line of “important” people who would’ve been helpful.

So this brings me to who is Lauren Wilder, the young woman who likes to be called Wilder and doesn’t mind getting personal in her writing. Where is she going with all of this? I am learning the art of selling/marketing myself.

I, like many other people in their 20s, are faced with this broad question. It didn’t seem to have a huge impact until I asked myself. The more I thought about this question it got even deeper.

Networking on a more personal level hits all aspects of life. You get exactly what you put into it. When I posed the question while writing I broke down not only my career, but my personal and social life. I also wrote down who and what I wanted to represent, this higher form of consciousness is what I like to call being a grown up.

So why is it important to know who I am? That’s not even a real question because I have to know, if not I am destined for failure. I have to know myself in order to make it so I can network. You absolutely can not sell anything without having product with a strong explanation of how it works and its benefits. I am that product, sometimes I’ll have to go back to the lab and revamp or be a better publicist for myself. All of this came from standing in a line to get in a concert, go figure.

Lauren Wilder is an up-and-coming journalist who recently moved to Chicago. She shares her adventures with P3 readers every month.

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