The Situation . . .
The day has ended and you are going out with your work buddies. Are you going to continue to talk about the details of a work project?
You might complain about your boss. Or you might complain about office environment in general. You might even talk about the girl in accounting that you want to ask out on a date.
However, one thing is almost definite . . .you are not sitting their bonding over the engineering projects you are working on. As you sit there and laugh for hours, you are getting to know each other on a more personal level.
You share in your love for the local football team.
Perhaps you share your desire to find a good authentic restaurant that can serve you a meal like you had back in your hometown.
Or maybe you share some details about your little brother and how he can drive you crazy.
Using this to your advantage . . .
It is these non-work topics that really help develop your connections. If you can make a connection with someone on this level, then it will really increase the level of your network connection overall.
Over the years, I have made great engineering connections that started because we both liked the same TV show growing up, the same sports team, or that we went to the same engineering school.
Remember, as I noted in a previous article, you want to build a strong network for the future, but with no specific purpose in mind [Read that article here, Why you need to build your engineering network EVEN if you are not job searching]
Long story short, don’t limit yourself to talking about engineering when you are are trying to connect with other engineers. Be yourself and try to open up a bit.
I think you will find the results to be much greater than if you stick to talking only about engineering.
Need some guidance?
Don’t just sit around. Let me help you take the next step towards your goal of engineering success.
When creating a solid network, one of the first thing you need to do is create a LinkedIn account where people can find you and where you can connect with decision makers. I have created a guidebook for Building Your Engineering Network on LinkedIn that includes a section on 30 Potential Connectors you can use to make real connections.
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