Networking isn’t always scheduled events. Sometimes, the best opportunities come from spontaneous networking. Stay open to the possibilities around you, and be prepared. You never know when the chance to make that great contact will appear!
Several years ago, I was at a coffee shop to meet a client for coaching and to discuss his resume. In the midst of our conversation, I noticed a couple of friends enter the shop and wave at me. Now I could have waved back and stayed focused on my client, but the two friends were also recruiters. Here was the perfect opportunity to help my client make a connection!
I waved them over, greeted them both and introduced my client. When they realized he was looking for work, they asked him for his elevator pitch. He gave them a short, interesting overview of his career and what he was looking for next. It turned out, one of the recruiters knew of an opportunity that could be a match. Fortunately, the resume was on our agenda, and I had a copy in my folder. A simple introduction turned into a scheduled job interview!
Because I am always looking to expand my network and help those I know to make connections, I was open to the opportunity to do a little spontaneous networking. Because my client was prepared, carrying cards and a resume and ready to discuss his career, skills, and ideal position, he leveraged a seconds-old connection into a job interview! That’s networking done right.
It’s a real-life reminder that when you are in an active job search, be prepared to introduce yourself, give your elevator pitch, and talk about the value you offer an organization and what you’re looking for in a position. Bring copies of your resume and your business cards with you wherever you go. Stay alert for the chance to do a little spontaneous networking of your own!