My wife brought home a variety pack of chips from the store this week that is part of a new Frito-Lay promotion. Basically, there are three flavors in the bag, you are supposed to sample each and then go to their Facebook page and cast your vote for your favorite. The Sriracha and Cheesy Garlic Bread flavors—at first glance—seem to be pretty inline as far as chip flavors go, but the Chicken & Waffles flavor seems—to me—to be pretty edgy.
I’ve got to be honest; I’m pretty much a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy— I never hopped onto the chicken and waffles bandwagon. I like my cake chocolate and my Mountain Dew the original flavor.
So when my wife opened the sack and pulled out the little blue bag, I had a decision to make. Was I going to pass on trying them, because it was such an off-the-wall flavor, or was I going to be daring and try something that was out of my palette’s comfort zone?
Face-to-face networking seems to be one of those “comfort zone” areas. Looking for a job on the internet or newspaper, or networking with others on Facebook and LinkedIn tend to be some job seekers’ cheesy garlic bread while actually meeting with someone face-to-face is their chicken and waffles. Networking can be intimidating, especially if you are new to it or are overly shy. I want to give you three suggestions to help make your next networking experience more, well—palatable!
- Target your audience. Although networking can happen anywhere, but have a general idea of what people and events would be effective for networking.
- Be prepared. Something as simple as having business cards made at your local office supply store with your name, area of interest, cell phone number, and e-mail address and carrying a few in your wallet or purse will make it easy for you to pass along your contact information should a great connection come along.
- Enjoy the conversation. The person you speak with may not know of any opportunities, but they may know someone who does. One of my recent clients was speaking with a friend and casually brought up the fact that she was looking for a new job and ask her friend if she knew of any openings. That friend—that very morning—had received an e-mail announcing an open position with a large employer. Bottom line, my client now has a new job, because she wasn’t afraid to step out of her comfort zone and network.
As far as those Chicken & Waffles Lay’s chips go…not bad. Not bad at all.