How To Avoid A Typical (Boring) Conversation

You’ve probably heard that networking is the best way to find a job. One reason is that people like to hire people they know, which expands to someone referred by someone they know.

Unfortunately, many people are uncomfortable starting a conversation with a stranger. That makes it difficult to meet people at a networking event.

Why?

Unless you’re one of the first to arrive, many networking events are bustling from the moment you walk in the door. There are several groups chatting. Even worse are parties of two who seem in deep conversation.

One way to engage with a group is to stand close by and wait for an opportunity to join. Great connectors are always looking for people lurking and will invite them in to the conversation.

A more direct approach is to simply ask “Can I join you?”

I’ve never had anyone or any group say no.

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4 Ways To Kick Up Your Job Search This Summer

casual skirtsAfter a tough winter, summer is finally here. Vacationers back up traffic for miles and sometimes there’s even a line at the beach. Time to sit back, enjoy the warm weather, and chill.

Not so fast.

Tempting as it may be, if you’re looking for a new job, this is not the time to slack off.

A decade ago, most people thought summer was not a good time to look for a job. In some respects, they were right. But, things are much different today. While recruiters and hiring managers may be taking long weekends, even week-long vacations, in our 24/7 world of work no one is ever really out of the office.

That means it’s not the time to kick back and wait for September. Here are four ways to keep your job search moving this summer.

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The Secret Ingredient To Networking Success

networking nightmaresEvery time I attend a networking event I run into at least one person looking for work. Every. Single. Time. Some of them have recently lost their job, others have been unemployed for a long time.

Whatever their situation, most of them are there with a friend or colleague.

This is a big mistake.

While networking should be part of your life (looking or not) you’ll get a lot more out of events if you go to them alone. Here’s why.

If you go to an event with a friend or colleague, you’ll likely spend most of your time with them. You’ll chat over cocktails and sit together at dinner.

Will you meet other people?

Probably.

But, not nearly as many as you would meet if you were there by yourself.

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Job Search (And Life) Lessons Learned From The Martian

MarsLast weekend, I went to see The Martian. Since I didn’t have time to read the book, I didn’t know anything other than it was about a man stranded on Mars. Without giving any secrets away, one of the astronauts is hit by debris during a storm. Based on the evidence, he is presumed dead and left behind as the rest of the crew evacuates the planet.

Well, the movie was awesome. Viewing it in 3D was an experience, worth every extra penny.

The movie has many underlying themes like the significance of character, friendship, and loyalty. It demonstrates how essential, sometimes critical, it is to be open to new ideas. However, the most powerful theme was the indomitable strength of the human spirit.

Later that day as I was thinking about the movie, I realized that many of The Martian’s lessons would serve job seekers as well. Looking for a new job can sometimes make you feel alone and overwhelmed.

Here are five ways to get back on track. (Don’t worry if you haven’t seen the movie, there are no spoilers here.)

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