What’s the weirdest place you’ve ever networked? A recent blog on how to network anytime generated some great stories from people who found unusual ways to connect with others.
Bruce started attending lunchtime concerts his city offered during the summer. It wasn’t the music that drew him, it was knowing professionals from all the nearby high rises pour out to these concerts. The informal atmosphere made it easy for him to chat with people and develop new connections at target companies in the area.
The gym was for more than just exercise for Marie. She overheard two women chatting before a fitness class about a recent resignation at their workplace. Seizing the moment, she apologized for interrupting and asked for details about the job that was opening up due to the departure of a key person. She found herself on the inside track for the position.
Coleen signed up to volunteer at a three day conference of industry experts in her field. Working the registration table gave her direct access to attendees she was pleased to meet. Finding it difficult to chat at registration, she made note of people she wanted time with and sought them out during breaks.
Fred got a job thanks to his daughter’s high school graduation. At the reception following the event he was asked to pose for pictures with his daughter, a number of her friends and their parents. In the course of mingling and celebrating the day, he learned one of the other parents worked in his field. The following Monday he followed up.
In one of the most unusual attempts to get into a company, Sarah joined a Weight Watchers at Work program at her target company. She discovered that although the program was set up for employees, it was open to outsiders. Since she wanted to lose weight anyway, it was a natural! She found herself having weekly contact with interesting company insiders. As they bonding over the battle of the bulge, many were happy to help her with job leads.
In all of these cases, connections were formed over personal or professional shared interests. Whether you love tennis or World of Warcraft, the people who share something in common with you are likely to want to help you with your job search. Have your eyes open to opportunities to network. It can happen in the most surprising places and bring the most remarkable results.
We’re looking for more stories about networking in interesting places. Share yours in the comments below.