Wood Words

Why Talking to Strangers is Good for Your Middle TN Job Search

If you want to boost your career prospects, you should talk to strangers – just make sure it’s the right kind of strangers.

Approaching large, armed men in dark alleyways? Not good for your job search (or your safety).

Introducing yourself to new professional contacts? That’s what we’re talking about!

Whether you meet them through social media, traditional networking or daily life activities, new contacts can connect you with job opportunities, help you find the right mentor, and introduce you to others who can aid your efforts.

So if your Middle TN job search or career progression has stalled, get out of your comfort zone. Use these tips from Wood Personnel to broaden your professional and personal network – and breathe new life into your career:

  1. Exercise good judgment. Obviously, you should always use common sense when you introduce yourself to new people. Whether it’s in a professional or personal setting, be careful not to divulge sensitive information about your job, company or life – especially to people you don’t know well.
  2. Brainstorm the possibilities. Create a list of places you could potentially make new connections. Think of everything you do and everywhere you go in your daily life: kids’ activities and sporting events, volunteering activities, restaurants, conferences, parties, school/continuing education, mass transportation. When you find yourself in one of these situations, chat up the people around you!
  3. Keep an open mind. You never know how a chance encounter with a person may be able to enrich or benefit your professional life. As you meet new people, think:
    1. What can we accomplish together?
    2. What can I learn from you?
    3. How can we help one another?
  4. Don’t be intimidated by unknown faces in the crowd. If you’re in a safe, well-lit and public environment, connect with those around you. Let the person next to you strike up a conversation – or strike one up yourself. Open up, relax and listen – you may meet someone who can open new doors for you.
  5. Accept invitations. Thinking of passing on that acquaintance’s party? Skipping your next networking event? You could be missing out on a big opportunity. When you’re tempted to decline an invitation, think of what you stand to gain. Give yourself a pep talk, accept the invite and commit to introducing yourself to at least three new people.
  6. Say goodbye. Before you leave, seek out the people whom you’ve met to say goodbye and (when appropriate) make plans to connect again. Treat chance encounters and new introductions with the ceremony they deserve, to make sure you’re remembered favorably.

Looking for more networking tips? Read this post on social networking the right way.

Still haven’t registered with Wood Personnel? We work with the best employers throughout Middle Tennessee. Whether you choose temporary assignments or direct hire opportunities, we’ll introduce you to professional contacts who can help you get what you want from your job. Contact a recruiter today or search jobs in Cool Springs here.