Are you mixing up your networking?

Photo by foxspain

Last night I went to the Business PM for the Chamber of Commerce because a new friend told me she was going and offered to drive me.

You could say I network all the time. I do. I interact with people all over the globe on a daily basis. But I don’t leave my office to do it. I’m here talking to my blog commenters, I’m on Twitter with a host of different connections and conversations daily, I pop into Facebook periodically and you can find me on LinkedIn. I extend those conversations with phone, e-mail, and Skype so I am never alone.

Last night was a bit different. I changed out of jeans, put on my dress shoes, donned my teal jacket, and off I went. Going with a friend always makes it easier to mingle. I know that I will know people when I go to most events and I really never have trouble talking to people but…  there is always that hesitation, that bit of an introvert that pops out right before I leave for an event.

Last night was a big event.  The gathering at the Stoney Creek Lodge spanned the hotel lobby, large restaurant, and more conference rooms. Food and beverages were in multiple locations and there was a silent auction, a raffle for a brand new Harley, and a jazz band playing in the lobby.

Who is watching you online?

We weren’t there long before a friend from church came up to say hi. As we were chatted and he said:

I have to tell you something my daughter said a few weeks ago! I’m not much into all this social networking myself, but she is. She was telling me she gets so much great information from your blog. She said she learns all about great resume writing, job search, and networking tips!

You know what’s funny? I know his daughter. She comes home to visit from college in Minnesota and I see her at church. But we don’t really talk and I didn’t know she was reading my posts.

You don’t know who may connect with you later from something you are doing online. Throughout the night, I ran into many former clients, business associates, and made some new connections.

Reconnecting with your past

Then I was chatting with someone and I vaguely heard someone calling my name. I saw someone motioning to me. He looked familiar and he told me to follow him. He said my name was being pulled for a door prize.

Sure enough! As I weaved my way through the large crowd, the announcer said, “oh, here she is,” and I was given a $75 gift certificate to Michael’s Supper Club, one of my favorite restaurants, two movie tickets, and a night’s lodging at the hotel. Wow! All because I joined a friend and threw my business card into the basket.

I weaved back through the crowd to find my mystery friend and we reconnected. As I  focused, I saw he was a former client and a banker who helped me refinance in the early 2000’s.

We laughed because it was obvious he had recognized me and I had to read his name tag. The refi was very helpful and he believed in me, so I asked if he could use the hotel gift certificate. He accepted and I was happy. He helped me, I helped him, and the circle continues.

Other results? My business card is now in the hands of many more people. I talked about my passion about social media with so many people and it looks like I might be helping the Chamber with a program in the future. All because I decided to leave my office for the night.

So are you thinking maybe you should get a little “real life” (out with the crowds) networking mixed into your online network routine?


  1. Mark Harai on December 3, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Good things happen to good people Julie 🙂

    Congrats on the door prize – and cheers to your success in business!

    • Julie Walraven on December 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm

      Thanks for visiting and commenting Mark! So good to see you stop by to comment. I already got a note from another former client who is now a Chamber ambassador who asked if I would let her know when I want to go again. I think I will work on this in-person group networking. You never know…

  2. Gee Backhouse on December 4, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Hi Julie,
    I’m not looking for help in finding a job right now but I find that many, many of your inspirational posts apply to life in all sorts of ways. Your tips and thoughts are always well worth checking in on. If I *were* looking for help writing a resume, I imagine that I’d get much more than just a great resume with your help – your great outlook is infectious!
    Thanks, as always,

    • Julie Walraven on December 4, 2010 at 7:18 am

      You know, my friend, I love it that you visit. I hope that what I say strikes others. And I also hope that if someone reads me and knows someone who wants to make a job change, they would share my site with them. Though my heart goes out to the unemployed, I find that the people who are more likely to understand the value of the investment in my services are employed but not happy or employed and ready to move up to a new level in their field. So I welcome readers who are not now looking but understand the needs of people who might want a new world for their employment.

      I also hope that some of my readers see your Commentluv link and follow back to see the gorgeous craftmanship of your work! You’re an amazing goldsmith and friend!

      • Gee Backhouse on December 4, 2010 at 10:47 am

        Your observation is key. Many don’t invest in the valuable services of others (such as yours) at the times when it’s most relevant and needed. The likelihood is, that the bad times would become more a thing of the past if they did!

        Oh, and thank you for the compliments! See you here again soon!

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