Networking For People Who Hate Networking: Network Roulette

A few months ago, I read a piece over at Lemondrop on IRL Syndrome, and immediately diagnosed myself as a victim of the disability.

As I read through the piece, I nodded with dawning recognition at passages like these:

“When I email a gal, I’m imbued with all these crazy powers. Confidence! Wit! Charm! On my Powerbook or my iPhone, I’m George Clooney at a cocktail party. On a date, without my assorted Apple products, I become … the Mac guy.”

I knew of what he wrote. Because, you see, I’m better in writing, too.

It makes the prospect of building my professional network somewhat daunting. And while being an introvert doesn’t necessarily have to be a liability (as I’m coming to learn from reading books like Networking for People Who Hate Networking), social interactions don’t only drain me of energy. They also terrify me. Which means I have to ease myself in slowly.

I’ve written in the past about the differences between passive and aggressive job search and networking tactics. And generally, I consider the use of social networking sites to be more passive than aggressive, no matter how much time you happen to be pouring into them (::coughcough:: Twitter ::coughcough::). But Brazen Careerist — perhaps the only other social networking site I devote much time to — has figured out a way to take things a step further without requiring me to double fist large glasses of wine in order to get to a place where I feel comfortably chatty.

I showed up to my first Network Roulette event in my pajama pants. It was okay. I only had to park myself in front of my laptop to get there. AnĀ online speed networking event, I just had to sign into the Brazen Careerist site, click on the Network Roulette logo in the sidebar, and fill in two questions:

1. What are you looking for?

2. What are you providing?

I was then randomly matched with other professionals participating in the event, and had up to 3 minutes to chat with each person before being connected with the next one.

The site made it extra easy to follow up with people later on by providing me with a network dashboard that recorded every person I’d been connected with.

Lemme tell you, it was the fastest hour I ever spent, and I got the chance to chat with people I may not have chatted with otherwise (because even I sometimes fall prey to the Social Media Trap Marian Schembari describes so eloquently right here).

Starting today, Network Roulette is available for use at any time on the Brazen Careerist site, and BC also plans on hosting topic-specific events. Check out this nifty video to learn more.

Of course, I feel as if networks become even richer once you take those contacts from online to in-the-flesh. But we’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

Related: Passive/Aggressive: Finding Work as a Freelancer, Networking Events: Conquer Your Fears By Thinking Like a Journalist

Comments

  1. Nice! Signed up and plan to try it tonight!

Trackbacks

  1. […] as I mentioned yesterday, taking networking from online to in-the-flesh is SO. IMPORTANT. It can solidify a relationship […]

  2. […] Well, I used e-mail. Because, as we all know, I’m better in writing. […]

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