Thursday, April 08, 2010

Coffees and lunches and meet-ups

I think I'm getting a better hang of this networking thing. I had meetings with three people over the past two days.

Two are people like me -- independents, doing their own thing. These people do a lot of networking because everyone's hustling for the few scraps out of business out there. But it's great to just talk with people, share tips and contacts and even kvetch a little.

The third is a pretty senior guy at a pretty major PR firm. After scheduling our lunch I started to regret it, thinking I'd be wasting his time, and wondering just who the hell I think I am, etc. But then, once we got together, it was just like the first time we got together last year -- long, fun, boisterous conversation about anything and everything, from politics to history to music to vacations.

And then, this part was nice. I didn't even have to ask for anything. Near the end he said I should get him my updated resume. Apparently they're gearing up their recruiting machine and he wants to get me into their process. Crazy.

Now that I've started to approach this thing strategically, it's amazing to find out how many people I actually know that I've taken for granted. This other guy I lost touch with a few years now works at a big employee communications agency. I wrote him and, boom, we're having lunch next week. So now I'm looking around at various software tools to keep track of all these people.

I really feel like there's this shift going on. It's more attitudinal at this point than anything else. But the employment picture, the stock market, the general climate is all contributing to an increased confidence. A feeling that things are on the verge of breaking loose and getting better.

Or, as some people think, we're heading for a double-dip recession and many, many years of under-employment ...

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