Friday, April 17, 2009

Coffee Shop Networking

Networking is all about making connections, developing relationships, and building trust. The beauty of coffee shop networking is that you can connect with someone you've never met before or someone you have an ongoing relationship with over coffee or a cup of tea. The purpose of coffee shop networking is to share interests and then just see what happens. I've developed and maintained my best working relationships at a coffee shop. With no agenda or sales pitch, it's easy to find ways to connect.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with someone whom I hadn't seen in 2 or 3 years. I recently found her through Linkedin. It took some maneuvering to find a time that worked for both of us, but it was worth the persistence. She is working with Freedom from Hunger, a nonprofit working to fight world hunger, and I am working with a local food bank supporting economic empowerment through gardening. We had so much to share and it seemed like I could talk and listen all day. The time was too short, but I felt a lot of support for the work I am doing and learned about a wonderful organization fighting world hunger. Through our busy schedules, I'm sure we will meet again. Once you connect at the coffee shop, it seems like your paths continue to cross.

When I talk to people who love their jobs, it is usually because of the relationships they developed with the people they work with. Today I had a coffee shop meeting and made a new connection. I met someone who wants to start a garden at his church to help the community. A visionary director said she was meeting with people she wanted to work with. We agreed that finding the right relationships were the most important part of making a project successful.

This website is intended for informational purposes only. Comments are open to the public and not endorsed by the author. For career advise, coaching, or counseling, please seek out a professional who can meet your personal needs.

Nancy Miller, M.S., Career Management Consultant
Copyright Center for LifeWork Design © 2007
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