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Looking Rich, Being Broke - How To Not Approach Social Capital

Looking Rich, Being Broke - How To Not Approach Social Capital

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Imagine this - It’s your manager’s birthday this weekend. Like everyone else, you’re invited to the party. Grapevine has suggested that it’s going to be a huge one with many people in the industry. And now you want to look your best.

Your budget doesn’t allow you to have an all out shopping session this month. But you also don’t have anything to wear. You wore a new outfit last weekend, but now it’s all over your Instagram

Would you wear something you recently wore or buy something way out of your budget, but new?

While many of us would want to choose the former, the problem with social capital exists because millennials tend to choose the latter.

Social capital is the networks and relationships you have with people. Not only does it affect where you stand in society, but also how seriously new people take you. Based on survival, it’s now a click away as you send that follow request on Instagram.

So, what’s the issue?


Millennials spend on things which increase their social connections. Cases of millennials blowing their money on dining, clubbing, and travelling beyond their budget are not new to anyone.  

Why do we do this?

Millennial or otherwise, humans thrive on social networks. Be this online or stone-age, we are aware that the respect we get in society stems from our networks. A great network also boosts up our happy hormones and that self esteem. Today, millennials have to go multiple extra miles to feel that social boost and security.

Now don’t get me wrong. Social capital is important. We need to have a strong network of friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. And yes, aiming to climb the social ladder is also completely natural.

The problem doesn’t lie there, it lies with millennials beyond their extent for this.

Millennials are most likely to shoot over their budgets, use their savings, or even take loans from friends to climb these ladders.  It’s time we changed our perspective on social capital.

First off, just because everyone seems to be doing it, doesn’t mean you have to.

Hear me out - if you don’t have money for a fancy dinner then just don’t go. Cook at home and call it a night, maybe?

Secondly, look at your social capital opportunities as investments. Are they long term? Are they short term? What is your ROI? Is it a great connection for when you switch jobs or a nonchalant New Years text greeting?

Moreover, what do YOU offer? What are your skills? How do they add on to a prospective social circle? Why would they need you?

There are multiple ways to come up with effective plans for you to rise in social circles. But understanding what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it is foundational.

So the next time you’re invited to a party and don’t have anything to wear, ask yourself - Is it worth being broke for a few days?

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