Who says you have to be the smartest person in the room if you are friendly with everyone in the room? In life, it’s not about what you know it’s about who you know. A trick to getting to know every person in the room is by being more creative then the next when meeting them. You might ask yourself, why do I want to know everyone in the room? You never know if someone you meet could be your next boss, coworker, or business partner. Below are some tips on how to never let another connection go to waste.
#1 – Make a POSITIVE lasting impression. I put emphasis on the positive because there is a difference between being remembered vs. not forgotten. You want this new potential coworker that you met on a night out to remember how outgoing and interesting you were. Ordering everyone a round of shots then spilling them on yourself is not the best way to be remembered. Engage in an interesting conversation and you will never be forgotten. He or she may even email her boss that night and say she found a potential intern, that’s how I got my internship at The Melanie Andersen Agency (thanks Jillian!).
#2 – Know your place, respect boundaries. Remember that you are the one looking for a job, and they are your connection! When talking potential business strategies keep in mind that they are the professional and you are looking to join their team. Therefore, never tell them what they are saying is a bad idea, help them build off of ideas they present to you, or give brief thoughts.
#3 – Once you have secured the internship, show a respectful amount of eagerness, drive and attitude. If you are as creative as you say you are, share some of your own ideas! However, it is important to share at the correct time. You can’t just shout out your ideas whenever you want, they’ll think you’re crazy. You have to find that conversational segway accordingly, share minor details about something similar and if it sparks another conversational topic keep going. It is ok to tell them at the end, “hey so that’s just a glimpse at how my creative mind works, I have many other ideas in numerous other fields. If you would like to speak more I would love to set up a meeting/interview”. It is a great skill if you can make them ask you for your opinion by posing a thought as a question.
#4 – Do NOT be afraid of rejection. If you ask me, most people are afraid of being told no, getting laughed at, or even standing out. Creativity is a way that one expresses themselves, if you stand in the crowd vs. standing out in the crowd, will you ever get noticed? If you don’t ask, how do you know what they will say! To give you an example, I was in the dry cleaners one afternoon where I commented to the owner of a very special car and laid down some knowledge I had about it. We had a brief conversation where he ended up giving me his business card and after I made a follow up appointment for lunch, he offered me a job. The point is, you can’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, you never know what will happen! There are opportunities everywhere we look! Don’t be afraid to stick your neck out there. We step up to the plate every morning when we wake up, but how many of us actually swing the bat. If you keep swinging you’re bound to make contact.
#5 – The key to success and happiness in life is balance. This is very important to remember when making a connection for a possible job. At the end of the day it is important to remember that you are making a professional connection, so therefore act like a professional. Show this connection that you are someone who is respectful and understanding. On the other hand don’t be afraid to let your hair down. The two of you will be working together so your professionalism is most important, in the same breath you will be seeing each other all the time. You need to show them that you have a personality. This is where balance is key, work hard and have fun. Balance in a creative workspace is the only way to have success. Do not force a friendship, anything forced simply becomes uncomfortable. Find that balance and play with it, for that will not only be the key to success with work but success in life as well.
Creativity – a word many toss around lightly. Be the creative person that you are, never be forgotten. Take some of these tips, find a new comfort zone, and go find your next career this afternoon but don’t wait, it could be waiting for you around the next corner.