What possibly do I have in mind when I mention “Football Practice” in the context of searching for a new job? It is simply this: you can make any situation a networking opportunity. Let me tell you a story…
My son is in a youth tackle football league. There is quite a dedication of time to the youth and his family’s time just to participate. They have 10 practices before the first game and each practice is 2 hours long. They practice, on average, 3 days per week, plus the warm-up and game on Saturdays. Suffice it to say that there is A LOT of idle time while watching my son practice football.
Naturally, I strike up conversations with the other parents. Inevitably, we end up discussing each other's careers, which is an opening for me to give a variation of my 2 minute pitch. Some people call it there “elevator interview.” When you just have a few minutes to let someone else know what you do and how you do it, you should have a memorized script--commercial, if you will--to sell yourself to other people. It’s networking. Chances are that the person sitting next to you on the football field, or in any social situation for that matter, is not going to be looking to hire you for their company, but you never know. Hopefully, they can refer you to someone else that can.
In a recent situation on the football field I met a dad who happens to be president of a large technology consulting company. I told him that I’d been an IT Director for a large CPA firm and I find out he is a client of the firm. We have some instant rapport. Small talk and other discussions led to him inviting me to breakfast to discuss my interests. Even if he didn’t have a position for me, he gave me 5 references of people to call, which I’m in the process of doing. Without me sticking out my hand and introducing myself, I wouldn’t have met this man and had this networking opportunity.
You, too, have to step out of your comfort zone to make connections. I used to be ashamed about being unemployed, but 4 months later, I’m anxious to get back to work and inquiring of others all the time. How about you?
I do appreciate hearing from you. Please drop a comment below in the blog or send me an email.
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