So last week I was on vacation; a Carribean cruise to be exact. This particular cruise was all about music. Concerts morning noon and night. Hosted by Barenaked Ladies, and lots of other top musical acts. I took a friend of mine from over in Europe who recently graduated with a degree in videography. Several months before the cruise, I sent her a message saying, "you know, there are bound to be some professional opportunities for you on the cruise; this is an entertainment industry event, after all, and I'm sure there will be videographers there to network with." And since two of the headlining bands are from Canada, in my own way I thought this would be a great opportunity for her (she is half English and can work in any Commonwealth country without needing to go through lengthy visa processes.)
While we were on board, being my normal friendly self, I was talking to folks that work for the cruise line, the production company, family members of the bands, etc. Whether she managed to make any connections or not, I at least know the opportunity was there.
I guess my point is, networking isn't just about your own "network". It is about following leads that might not seem to make sense, but present themselves anyway. While I was in Miami (the night before the cruise) I went to a local salon to get a pedicure, and guess who I met? Someone that works for Microsoft Venezuela. Her daughter is one of the owners of the salon. So what did I do? I got her email address and just sent her email. I am going to follow up with her on referrals for positions I am recruiting on.
My own path to becoming a top Seattle recruiter started in just such a manner. I moved to Portland, OR. Soon after, I got a phone call from a friend from Cincinnati. His Dad lived in Portland. He himself had just moved to Seattle with a friend from HS going to med school.
Turns out the med student's girlfriend did contract costume work for a marketing manager at Microsoft. He needed an admin, and I ended up getting the job. (I worked into recruiting from there.) Convoluted? Yes. But one of the *best* professional opportunities given, and decisions I ever made.
Don't blind yourself to opportunities. The proverbial "box" is much more of a dodecahedron these days and takes a lot more "outside thinking" to get out of.
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