I recently attended a local TEDx (Technology, Entertainment, Design) event. TED‘s focus is stimulating thinking and innovation by bringing together speakers and an audience from as many divergent fields as possible. A perfect networking opportunity.
I showed up by myself. Why? Because while I am uncomfortable walking into this room full of hundreds of people alone; I know that if I am with a friend, I will miss opportunities to meet new people. As I pushed my way through the crowd, I saw a few people I know. I said hello but quickly moved on. I’m here to make new connections and I can’t do that talking to people I already know well.
The first person I met was from Rochester Institute of Technology. The demonstration is remote movement technology. Fascinating. In the auditorium, I sat down in an empty seat. I started talking and laughing with the guy next to me. It turned out he’s the vice president of human resources for one of Rochester’s largest employers.
A few minutes later, a young man plunked down in the seat on the other side of me. He’s a Taiwanese national who is studying industrial design at one of the local college. We shared ideas about design.
If you are looking for a job or trying to build your company, I suggest you attend events alone. Being a little uncomfortable is a good thing. It means you are stretching beyond your comfort zone. Are you meeting 5-10 new people a week? There are a lot of ways to do this; you need to make a real effort. What’s your favorite way or place to meet new people? Please share your thoughts.
*Song lyrics from George Thorogood and the Destroyers, I Drink Alone. My blog does not advocate drinking and certainly not drinking alone. 🙂