A Smarter Way to Lunch: Networking for the Rest of Us

30 Mar

Networking. I know, right.


There was another HR blog post about “How to Get a Great Job in 2015” waiting in my inbox the other day.  It boiled down to the old adage about getting out to get the job. You’ll find your next role over lunch, via phone, or  somehow otherwise directly engaging with a human-being, who is not behind the glossy computer screen in your kitchen.

This sentiment has been well documented, and I do think there is absolutely merit to the statement.  What strikes me as noteworthy about this though, is that in this new age of social presence and online connection often times lunch breaks are spent engaging in twitter chats from the comforts of home, with hundreds of strangers we’ve never actually met.  There are even schedules of upcoming chats, so you can always plan for a weekly lunch date .

I think these chats are just as valuable as an initial meeting for coffee or a luncheon request. We’re developing new relationships while exchanging ideas and building our social presence over our predetermined lunch topic. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chats feel a lot less anxiety producing  for those of us who curate our thoughts a little more thoughtfully than others.

Personally, I’m not always the loudest, or most extroverted person in the room; sometimes I sit back and watch what’s happening before diving in and making my own opinions known. These lunchtime chats give us the opportunity to read through the responses, develop our ideas and share when we’re ready.

I call it a smarter way to lunch.

Navigating these social media conversations is a lot like navigating a networking luncheon, and the keys to success are still the same: engage, offer something of value, stay thankful, stay humble. All from the comfort of your kitchen table.

If you’re patient and consistent, these online relationships may develop into phone calls, and phone calls may lead to interviews, and offers.

Or at the very least a shiny new LinkedIn connection, and I still call that a win.


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