Tag Archives: Networking

Meeting people in new places.

I am pretty confident in saying this is a dilemma that every recent grad faces when they move to a new place. You are the new kid on the block once again. Except this time, unlike college, you don’t have RAs and professors forcing you to interact with your peers. In fact your peer group no longer consists of only your age group. So how does a young, single, budding professional like myself go about meeting new people?

A friend suggested go read a book in a local cafe and strike up conversation with a stranger. So, I tried it. Let’s just say two americanos, fifty pages of 1984, and one failed conversation attempt with a barista later and I didn’t make any new friends. It’s a one in a million that you will just bump into someone cool that you can hit it off with right away.

So, I am turning to the internet, as per usual, for advice on the subject. Google search phrase, “how to meet new people in your area.” Most articles began with something catch phrase like, “Starting out fresh? Move to a new area? Have a baby? You don’t need us to tell you how hard it is to meet new people.” As cheesy as these openers are, I can relate.

What I was able to glean from the barrage of websites on how to meet new people can be surmised by this simple list:

1. Go out as often as you can. According to meet-people.ws, yes that is a real website, you will not meet people sitting in front of your TV. Well that’s a give in. Thanks meet-people for that obvious insight.

2. Smile often. The Happiness Project suggests this will make you look warm and inviting. Again, does anyone get the feeling that these suggestions are pretty obvious?

3. Join something: a group, a club, an organization! As cheesy and obvious as this one is, I think it is far more likely to help me than the first two. This of course does require you to spend some money, but who doesn’t love a good yoga/gym /self-defense /[insert appropriate activity here] class? God knows I do.

4. Join an online dating community. With dozens of leading online dating websites, it seems practical if not simple to join one of these. If dosen’t result in a romantic relationship it will possibly open up doors for friendships.

5. Meet friends of friends. It seems like a sure bet that if you like your friend, you are likely to like their friends. Ask everyone you know if they know people in the area that you could get a drink with or just get to know. You might luck out.

All this had led me to take this advice, as foolish as it makes me feel.Every one of these. I am joining a yoga class. I have made a profile on a dating website. I am smacking a smile on my face… permanently! I am asking my friends for help. Here goes nothing. If you have any more suggestions please share them with me. I will keep you updated on the ins and outs of this adventure.

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Filed under Meeting People, Random Musings

Hometown Networking: Affordable “Net-Zero” Homes

On Tuesday I went to a professional meeting with my dad. The plan was to network and try to get my name and face recognizable with some professionals in my hometown. That networking event led to another one. In my hometown there is a real estate project that is really pretty cool. affordable, downtown family homes that are entirely off the grid. This project is the first of its kind in the NATION! And I got an invite to see them on the day of their grand opening.

These homes have a number of features to lower the costs of living for the residents and to function in an eco-friendly way. Each home is equipped with geothermal heating and solar panels to provide energy without being plugged into the grid. That means no electric bills! They are also filled to the brim with energy-efficient lighting and appliances. In the end these houses are not only built out of eco-friendly materials, but are designed to be entirely efficient.

Each house comes with a an ipad as well. Why, you might ask. Because they are the new smart house. Temperature, security, internet, etc can be controlled from your computer. Say you have a friend coming over, the rain is pouring down, you are running late, and they got locked out of their car. Normally they would have to wait, shivering on your porch, waiting for you. Not if you live in one of these houses. You can use the camera installed at the front door to verify that it is your friend waiting, soaking wet on the porch. It streams video to any authorized pda, smart phone, or computer. And then from your computer, or whatever you have on you, you can unlock the door remotely to let them in. It is a new age for homes.

All this sounds expensive right. It’s not. You can buy the three bedroom family homes: complete with multilevel master bedroom and a basement for only $290,000 before government rebates. Or, you can but a three bedroom town home, similar to the family home sans the basement, for $250,000. Those prices are before government rebates. In today’s eco-conscious market, the government offers rebates for homeowners who purchase or build homes that are eco-friendly. The difference in price goes from $290,000 before rebate to $260,000 after rebate.

I got to see all of this because of some networking and I got to remind some professionals in my area that I am here, looking for work, and ready to see what’s going on my hometown. And, I got to learn something pretty cool. I may have found my dream home.

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Filed under Job Hunting, Random Musings

Using Your Connections

I am a big believer that there is no shame in using your connections. It really is all about who you know and who they know in today’s job market. So in my own job search I put myself out there an asked to shadow my dad at a town council meeting. Some might think it is a bit shameless to mooch on your parents connections. I don’t think so. My parents, in particular, are well connected in my home town. Their connections are broad and reach far. It would be silly of me to ignore the wealth of networking available to me through them.

The meeting itself was focused on real estate development, something I know very little about. However, the board members were a hodgepodge of professionals: freelance writers, artists, journalists, architects, city planners, and business owners all came together. It gave me an opportunity to introduce myself to all of these people, and show to them that I am the go-getter type that has the balls to ask to shadow my dad in professional setting in which I am the odd man out for sure. It paid off in the end. I passed off two resumes: one to a local newspaper and one to a local businessman. It also got me an invite to a town event where dozens more local professionals will be gathering. There you go, the art of using your connections starts in the home.

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