Putting Social Back in Social Media
When I first moved to Nashville almost exactly one year ago, I didn’t have a job. While that was daunting, I knew I’d be able to find something eventually whether it was flipping burgers at McDonald’s or slinging lattes around at Starbucks. Those were obviously not ideal jobs for a recent college grad that busted her butt to get as much experience as possible to get that job right out of school, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
After a couple weeks of wandering aimlessly on Music Row, knocking on doors and strolling through Cummins Station to hand out my résumé like it was candy (yes, that happened), I met a few kind professionals who took my résumé and actually emailed me back! One in particular emailed me with a ton of information about networking events here in town. After reading through the email and doing more research on these networking events, I decided to attend one.
For a 22-year-old, it was a bit overwhelming walking in to a place where I didn’t know a soul. After mustering up the courage to get out of my car, I went inside and started chatting away with people. Who knew that everyone would be so friendly? At the end of the evening, I walked away with at least 30 business cards and followed up with each and every person I met. Now, I’m not saying you should do this, but I highly recommend it.
I was absolutely amazed how almost everyone there knew someone else. I found myself talking to one person and then being taken over to someone else to meet and so on and so forth. Everyone was extremely friendly, so it was easy to talk to anyone.
What happened after that night you ask? I heard back from a few people, but didn’t hear back from the rest. Those few people that did respond proved to be very helpful. Long story short, my résumé was forwarded to someone who was hiring, and I got a job.
Networking Is Important!
Here are a few networking events I frequent here in Music City:
Even if you aren’t from Nashville, you can still network in your city! There are a ton of networking events in most cities.
Now that you have a couple ideas on where to network, here are a few tips that might help you:
- Don’t be afraid to walk up to a random stranger! They will usually greet you with a big smile
- If you’re feeling intimidated, most likely someone else is too
- Have your résumé or business card ready to hand off like it’s candy
- Be personable
- Ask questions
- Be yourself; people will love you
Don't Forget to Follow Up
Now, after networking events, follow up with the lovely folks you met. It might be a good idea to connect on LinkedIn or shoot a quick email so they remember you. “Hey, I was the crazy person who talked to you about social media for an hour.” Just kidding…kind of.
You never know who could help you out along the road. You can never have enough friends or professional acquaintances. Also, it really is about who you know. I cannot stress that one enough.
Already a fabulous networker? Good job! Tell us about your favorite networking events and how networking has benefitted you.
photo credit: joshunter via photopin cc