If you want to hone your networking skills and meet a lot of new people fast without leaving the comfort of your home, go to BrazenCareerist.com and check out their Network Roulette events.
(Hat tip to WorstProfessorEver for the heads up. Link leads to the post that inspired this post. Read that one, too.)
Brazen Careerist has taken the offline networking event — awkward, crowded, expensive, inconvenient — and translated it into an efficient online networking experience. Now you can meet new people and build relevant relationships in your pajamas or from your cubicle. It’s about time.
The speed networking events seem pretty targeted (this is good) but if you want to get your feet wet, check out “Community Karma” available every Monday – Friday at 12 PM EST.
Community Karma is one full hour of “goodwill networking,” an opportunity for members of the community to connect and help each other out. Participants must answer two simple questions: 1. What do I need help with? and 2. How am I willing to help someone else out?
How it works: At noon EST, a big green button labeled “Join” appears on the Community Karma page. A graphic appears with some stick figures hanging out at a bar. Depending on how many people have joined, you might wait some minutes to be matched up, but eventually someone’s profile will pop up in that window. From that moment you have three minutes to chat with the other person.
My experience: Three minutes goes by fast. I took way too long to figure out what to say on the first chat and so didn’t end up helping the person much at all. I had to wait a few minutes for the next person to appear, so I decided ahead of time what profile raising tidbit I could transmit effectively in three minutes. (I picked comment blogging.) But explaining that took up almost all the time, which wasn’t the best because that didn’t leave him time to help me at all. The other two exchanges were more balanced. Keep in mind, however, that some people will not have that much to say or for whatever reason, you just won’t click. That’s why the program is there, to move you along. Like anything, you have to do it a few times to get the hang of it, but overall it was a lot of fun. If you haven’t met anyone new lately (meaning today) you should try it.
[Note: Your BrazenCareerist profile is by design open and will show up on your search profile, much like LinkedIn. BrazenCareerist differs from LinkedIn because the profiles are forward looking and aspirational and it has a mechanism to immediately activate connections at its center.]