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How To Get The Most Out Of Your Networking Opportunities
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.
ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.
Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.
President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.
It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.
The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.
BYESVILLE — A Meadowbrook High School student removed from class last Friday for being intoxicated is now facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to shoot people if the previous incident harmed his chances to join a branch of the United States military.
Gabriel D. Blackledge, 18, of Cambridge, is facing one count of making terrorist threats, a third-degree felony, filed by the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. Blackledge remained incarcerated in the county jail on a $250,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed, according to the sheriff's office's website.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.