Networking opportunities can be found in many different focus areas, concentrated on industry, region, and even race/national origin, gender, and age. Each of these focused networking events brings together similar types of individuals. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you want to take away from the experience. I have had my fair share of networking experiences, mostly with negative results.
During my first networking event, I was a newly separated veteran, still trying to find my own way in the wide world. I remember going from group to group furtively attempting to break into the myriad circles of conversation that seem to have sprung fully formed straight from the hotel conference room’s dingy carpet. For someone who was already feeling like I was on the outside looking in, these attempts were not only daunting to attempt, but damaging to the self-esteem. I quickly became a wallflower and drank my open-bar generic beer at a little table in the corner before making my quiet getaway.
My second networking event was not much better. I had learned from the first that I needed to use some skills to break into those circles and assert myself just for the opportunity to get a word in. I practiced my elevator speech; that 30-second synopses designed to explain who you are and what you can provide to anyone, anywhere. I put on my big boy suit and a red silk tie. I broke my way into every conversation and took every card handed to me. I went back to my hotel room with more than 50 cards, each representing an elevator speech followed by an important conversation. Once I got back home from the event and forgot 90% of the faces behind those cards, I resolved for the future to make contextual notes on each card as soon as I received it.
Shortly thereafter, at my next event, I implemented my note-taking strategy. Now I was cooking. I would meet people and have some conversation. When I had a moment to myself, I would scratch out highlights of the conversation as well as spitball a couple of things that I could do to help them. When I got back to the hotel room, I systematically wrote emails to everyone I had gotten a card from, making sure to note a particular point of our conversation. If warranted, I would make sure to also mention how I could add value or help them and highlight my skills.
These notes have proved very useful. I was able to connect with some interesting folks and got a few exciting writing and speaking opportunities. I also have quite a few friends now that started off as hastily scrawled notes on the back of a business card.
If nothing else, this practice will help you learn to think about how you can add value to others, which will usually benefit you as well.
The first grenade core was accidentally discovered on Nov. 28, 2018, by Virginia Department of Historic Resources staff examining relics recovered from the Betsy, a British ship scuttled during the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. The grenade's iron jacket had dissolved, but its core of black powder remained potent. Within a month or so, more than two dozen were found. (Virginia Department of Historic Resources via The Virginian-Pilot)
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.
Jeremy Cuellar, left, and Kemia Hassel face life in prison if convicted of murdering Army Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III in Berrien County Dec. 31, 2018. (Courtesy of Berrien County Sheriff's Dept.)
BERRIEN COUNTY, MI -- The wife of an Army sergeant killed in December admitted that she planned his killing together with another man, communicating on Snapchat in an attempt to hide their communications, according to statements she made to police.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.