It is amazing how many opportunities we have to meet new people easily (read “potential job lead connections”) and in the most surprising places. A client of mine, Jennifer, had jury duty this week and was excited to tell me about some networking that fell in her lap that day! We all know how much time you sit around in a crowded room with others serving their civic duty, and most people bring books, laptops, tablets, and more to stay occupied during the wait.
Jennifer is a senior in college and currently searching for an Engineering position. She brought some trade journals to read during her wait with other jurors. This prompted an inquiry from the man next to her, Brad, and it turned out he was an Engineering student as well. Another woman overhearing their discussion, piped in that her son, Rick – an Engineering major, recently got a job with Company XYZ. Later in the day as she was reading one of her Engineering journals, a 50-something woman, Sharon, noticed the journal cover on robotics and introduced herself as an engineer working for a small company specializing in defense robotics. Jennifer left that day with phone numbers and email addresses for Brad, Rick, and info that Company XYZ is hiring. She obtained Sharon’s business card to connect on linkedin and had received an offer from Sharon’s to reach out to her in the Spring. Jennifer can now keep in touch with Brad and they can help each other with job leads. She can contact Rick and establish a connection with him as well as garner info on hiring needs at the company. She can research the company on her own, and see if they have positions posted on their website.
So, carry trade journals or books related to your field when you are going to be waiting (doctors” offices, car tune ups, your kids’ soccer games, and of course, jury duty!) and you will increase the odds of connecting with others in unexpected places!