Rapid dating and networking
You’ve probably heard the term speed networking and assumed that it’s similar to speed dating. In both cases, people gather in a large meeting area (maybe a restaurant, conference hall or catering facility) and have an opportunity for brief, informative exchanges, meeting with a dozen or more individuals during the course of a single event. ): The goal of speed dating is to connect with just one, perfectly suited individual.
First, the similarities: Like speed dating, speed networking follows the round-robin approach to connecting with others.
Imagine making more contacts in one hour than some people do in a career.
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The good news is that, somewhere in your dating history, you have already (probably) had to feign interest in something you didn’t care about and have already honed the valuable skill of smiling and pretending to pay attention just long enough to eventually switch to another topic. What’s a heck of a lot easier than the arduous, anxiety-inducing process of thinking of a fabulously charming or funny thing to say extemporaneously?
For starters, having a couple of pre-prepared lines is quite handy.
Although going to a networking event is contextually very different from speed dating, the expectations are shockingly similar; in both cases, you get a limited window to chat up a complete stranger, assess if he or she is into you, and try to get his or her number (okay, business card – but there’s usually a number on the card, right? There was a write-up in New York Magazine a few years ago discussing an interview prep guide distributed by the career services office at Columbia Business School reminding students to brush their teeth before going on interviews.
Additionally, students were advised that rain boots, regardless of the designer or how cool they are this season, should not be worn to interviews.
If you wouldn’t want to meet Justin Bieber looking frumpy or wrinkly, the same thought would apply here.