Let’s have Coffee some time — A Rant about Networking
Let me preface this by saying that what I’m writing about are things that I’ve experienced meeting other people in my industry. Not all meet ups are like this but it’s not a rarity either.
Networking is something that should be fun because you’re meeting different people, usually, within your industry. Ever since finishing school and becoming a Software Developer, I’ve had my fair share of meet ups with developers, project managers, etc. at coffee shops, lunches and even pubs. Most of them are fun and insightful, but quite a number of them seem to gravitate towards either finding a job or looking to hire.
Whenever the topic of conversation moves towards employment, the energy in the room gets sucked out. Unless the purpose of this meetup is about employment, talking about it out of nowhere can get awkward at times. I’m in no liberty nor do I feel comfortable to recommending someone I’ve only met once to the company I work for.
Don’t get me wrong. I love meeting people who are interested in learning more about the company that I work for, and people who are open to giving me an opportunity to apply for a position; but sometimes, it takes away from the whole building professional relationships aspect of networking. I’m not always looking to talk about job/employee hunting. Maybe I want to talk about the stars, cats, or horror movies?
I understand that many people see networking as something they can do to get an “in” with the company they are targeting. I also understand that building the relationship first might not give you the opportunity you seek right now but it can be more fruitful in the long-run.
Networking is a powerful tool to have. With more and more avenues to communicate between professionals becoming available, it should be much easier meet people in your industry for a casual chat; but I feel like building relationships are less in the forefront.
I’m a developer currently working in Vancouver, Canada. I mainly work as a front-end developer and I still dabble in the back-end of things. Feel free to visit my website and follow me here as well as my different social media accounts!