Once I left a career in public relations, I thought it might be difficult to network at any-day places. My former career made it easy to network with anyone anywhere I went because of the nature of my job. The people I met were mainly in the communications industry and outgoing and helpful by nature.
Yet, since I've changed careers I have found countless networking opportunities wherever I am. In the past month at my new job, I have 'met' four people that I know outside of work. I was grateful that I had originally made a fairly decent impression. Everyone knows that first impressions can't be changed, so if you are in a testy mood at your local coffee shop and the person behind you is your new boss this could be a problem. I was happy to know these people outside of work because we naturally had something to discuss. But, I have met many people for whom it doesn't come natural to strike up a conversation. My advice is simple: practice your communication skills with someone you know very well. This article offers great advice as well.
This is particularly beneficial for those of you who are new to the job market or new in your field. Networking events can be tedious and stressful, but are often crucial to meet influential people. If you can learn how to network anywhere, you never know who you might meet!
Let me know where YOU have networked with someone.
Amy M worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school to become an English and Social Studies teacher. She is also a freelance writer for CollegeJobBank.Com. In her free time, Amy likes to practice yoga. She is a self-proclaimed 'American history nerd.' Read more of her blogs at collegejobbankblog.com. Find jobs and other information at Nexxt.