Happy hour is typically known as a great place to blow off some steam and catch up with friends after a long week. It also can be the site where you chat your way into a new job.
It’s always easier to hear about new jobs through your friends and colleagues out in a casual setting than the forced settings of recruitment fairs and job conventions. Everyone is more relaxed and receptive. If you play your social etiquette cards right, you may be able to get some important information that can help advance your career.
Putting a Face to the Name
There is a lot of competition out there for not as many jobs. Getting out there and being social is one way to put yourself at the top of the resume pile. You never know who you will meet at a fundraising event or even at the local food truck. And those interactions can prepare you for more formal interaction.
Going out and meeting new people, striking up conversations, all makes it that much easier when you want to pick up the phone and introduce yourself to a potential employer. Employers get so many resumes for positions—the best way to stand out is to introduce yourself at an event or with a phone call. They just may remember who you are and see that you are an enterprising individual, resulting in an interview and job placement.
Bartenders as Recruiters
Bartenders are good to know. They see all, hear all and know all. They are easily the most popular person at the bar. But bartenders won’t give up their secrets and information to just anyone. You have to develop a relationship with them, just like anyone else. Become a regular at the establishment. Tip well. If you take care of bartenders, they will take care of you. Be real and strike up normal conversations. You never know who they may be able to connect you to.
Striking Up a Conversation
It’s not always easy to make the first move in social situations. Happy hour luckily loosens up quite a few folks. But even if you don’t drink there are certain ways to start a conversation with others that are easy to try.
First of all, be yourself and relax. People can tell when someone is puffing out their chest or putting on heirs.
Next, don’t just talk about yourself. Ask questions about other people. Ask them what they are working on or passionate about or do in their spare time. People like to know that you are interested in them. It makes them feel important.
It’s better to put yourself out there than not, no matter where the conversation will lead.
Dos and Don’ts
Of course, in any situation infused with alcohol; there are some rules and standards you should probably abide by going in. It helps to keep the social aspect under control—especially if you are using it to network.
Number one: Set a drink limit. If you are just out with your friends for a good time, that is fine. If you are looking to network and meet people this is essential. You do not want to get sloppy in front of a potential employer.
Number two: Keep it causal. Don’t get into too many details at a bar. If you make a great connection with someone and want to get into specifics, schedule a meeting for the next week.
Number three: Avoid gossip and negative talk.
Number four: Don’t be pushy. No one likes a salesman at their happy hour.
Number five: Talk about your other interests. Talking about work and your job all the time is boring to most people.
Number six: Follow up. Make sure you stay in contact with those people who you have conversed. Take those business cards you have collected and send an email or note in the following days.
Clark Personnel Service can help you make the right connections. Contact us today!