Learning To Network

I had the funniest conversation today with a former cohort.

We met for coffee and talked about how things were going in terms of the job search.  I only started the process a week ago while he has been working on this since April.  So he had more to share than I did.

He commented about how he was learning how to network.  I commented that I was realizing as I was updating things how horrific I am at networking.  I make great connections- we connect via LinkedIn – but don’t do drinks and coffee and all of the superficial crap.  Yes, that is what I said almost word for word.

He started laughing at me.

“What? I don’t do small talk.  And most of the people we worked with, I couldn’t care less about their lives because they were usually just so inappropriate and petty and stupid about shit.  Why would I spend an hour of my time with them?”

“God, you sound just like me! That’s why I like you,” he commented between his laughter.  “I’m the same exact way.  I so get it.  We are both too fucking direct and to the point.  I mean, I’m all for foreplay and all, but I’m much happier getting to the fucking good stuff already.”

I laughed my fucking ass off at that analogy.

He told me what a mentor of his recently shared with him about how to network.  “I even asked him at one point, but how do I talk about what I need in terms of a job if I’m not supposed to talk about me??”  The mentor told him how to do it – and it made sense – it makes sense.  It’s just weird when you are a direct person who doesn’t do small talk or meaningless talk.  He totally agreed but assured me it works.

“If I have to do the foreplay to get ‘er pregnant the first shot, then I’ll do the foreplay.”

I liked talking to this guy when we worked together, but damn, take the filter all of the way off and he’s funnier the fuck.

I appreciate his problem solving skills – and the work he has put in to try to crack the hiring system.  A few things were perfect actually.  Some of what he has found, the placement agency 7 years ago taught me.  I shared with him something quite important which is doing your research to figure out where you want to work instead of just doing the machine gun approach to it.  He was doing it – but only kind of doing it.

“Ok, girl, I gotta go,” he told me, “but know this – wherever I land, you are one of only maybe 3 people I would ever want on my team again.  I will find a place for you, so we can work together some more.  I appreciate you too much to think that this last place was the only time we will work together.”

It was a good coffee meeting.

I really hope we do work together again.  He is one of those people who makes work fun and challenging and rewarding – all at the same time.

Good stuff.

Now here is to us finding a place to land…..soon.

And maybe next time we get together, we have a beer.  If coffee resulted in the analogies he was drawing between sex and job hunting, I can only imagine how much funnier it could be!

What do you think?

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