Friday, June 5, 2015
Networking can be awkward
It can be "threatening."
Susan Ricker, CareerBuilder, writes about this. First, you may only speak to someone a few minutes. The "experts" recommend you have an elevator pitch--a short outline of you, where you are, your interests and so on. Spouting this out can be pretty deadly conversation-wise.
I think of it more like a date--ask about the other person, try to find interests in common. You can even play who do you know a little--"Oh, you went to Harvard--did you know Tom Blah Blah?"
Ricker recommends getting to the point--asking why the person came, what takeaways did they hope to get?
Usually, the other person will not say, "I am looking for an executive vice president--what executive experience do you have?" It is never that pat.
If the conversation stalls, it's probably time to move on.
Be natural--if you feel awkward, the other person probably does, too...Cut it off. It is probably not a future lunch.
Win some, you lose some. Other times, you may click--and feel comfortable handing over a card. Why don't we grab coffee--maybe Thursday?