The four panelists of " Beyond Monster" one of the many great events of Business Week, gave lots of heartfelt advice regarding networking, based on their own individual job searches.
One panelist said "Strike up a conversation wherever you are. No contact is too minor. Don’t be afraid to say ‘I’m looking for a job’."
She continued to suggest: remember your friends have parents. Those parents have friends and neighbors. Everyone you know has their own network so anytime you talk with just one person you have the potential to reach lots and lots more people.
She gave a personal example of a conversation she had recently with her food server when dining at an upscale restaurant. As their conversation ended, the server said “This is what I’d really like to do. May I give you my name and number?” The server had given excellent service and our panelist remembered her. She made sure to give her a job lead when, a couple of weeks later, she heard of a position she thought the server might be interested in.
Networking works! What are you waiting for? Get out there and talk to people!