Written by Sally Leung, Recruiter at Jobspring Boston
We’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know”, but how true is that really?
According to a recent survey done by the Department of Labor, networking accounts for at least 69% of all hires. Networking is critical for the success of countless careers. In our high tech world, our main forms of communication are email, text or phone calls. We are losing that face-to-face interaction. Routinely attending networking events will get you face time with others in your industry, with the potential for building stronger relationships and moving your career forward.
Since networking is so important, you want to use your time wisely and make the best-possible impressions. Here are some helpful tips when going to a networking event:
Go with a purpose
You are already busy, so don’t waste time-- make the most out of it! Set a goal for yourself to meet at least three new people.
The Lone Ranger approach
Personally, I often attend networking events by myself or with one other person. When you go to an event with a group of friends, you will tend to stick with each other and you’ll be less likely to talk to new people.
Scan the scenery
This goes back to purpose. Make sure you are using your time effectively. I like to look at the scene and approach individuals standing alone or in small groups. They’ll be the most likely to be open to new participants. It’s much easier to break into a conversation that way.
Make a good first impression
You can’t dismiss the power of a good handshake. You’d certainly don’t want to have a death grip, but you also don’t want to be remembered as the person with the dead fish grasp.
Be someone you’d want to talk to
Ask open-ended questions that will keep the conversation flowing, make direct eye contact, and give the person you’re speaking with your full attention.
As my colleague, DJ, likes to say, always be positive. You might go to a networking event and may not make any immediate contacts that could translate to anything right away, but the connections you make have a very real chance of coming back to you in the future (whether it’s a few weeks or months down the road), or that person might introduce you to someone who IS the right person to talk to.
Offer to help
…and don’t expect anything in return. This goes back to the previous point. Offer to help where you can. Most people appreciate a favor and want to reciprocate.
Keep those connections!
Bring business cards. Keep YOUR business cards in your left pocket and the incoming cards from others in your right pocket. That way, you wouldn’t get them mixed up. Make it a point to get their contact info, especially if it’s a great contact. Sometimes people will run out of business cards, so in that case, just grab their email or number and follow-up with them the next day. And remember to add them on LinkedIn- it’s a totally expected and professional habit these days.
With these helpful tips, you will be sure to make a statement at your next networking event!
Article By Spencer Moody, Recuiter at Jobspring San Francisco
Open Source Software (OSS) development is an incredibly popular and evolving approach to creating innovative apps, products and services that are vastly improving our everyday lives. From free apps on our smartphones to internet browsers like Firefox or Chrome, there’s a lot that OSS has created that we take for granted. And who can blame us? We live in an era where we find ourselves saying, “there’s an app for that” or “just Google it” whenever we run into a problem. Most of us will never take a minute out of our days to stop and appreciate what OSS has done for us, so here’s a helpful reminder about why it’s so awesome.
The basic distinction between OSS and Closed Source Software (CSS) is that any potential user has access to the source code of OSS and can openly use and alter this source code in the pursuit of making it better. CSS, on the other hand, is far more restricted and users must pay for access to the source code- meaning that they essentially must pay for the right to learn and use the software.
For example, let’s compare PHP (OSS) to Java (CSS). Anyone who would like to use PHP can go to PHP.net, or any number of other websites, to gain access to the source code, a how-to guide, and will be able to start programming right away. If suddenly you realize that there are certain limitations to the code that you have figured out how to resolve, you’re free to do that. Meanwhile, anyone who would like to learn Java must pay for some service to learn and ultimately use it. Furthermore, once you’ve become a Java Wizard, you are not allowed to change the source code and make that available to the public. This doesn’t mean that OSS programming languages are better than those on the CSS platform- each is simply just a different approach, but OSS is my preference.
So why do we care? Here’s what’s amazing about the open source approach to development. The goal is to make this information available to the public in the effort to incorporating a wide-array of perspectives and ideas into tech development. This is very important. When you use an app on your phone, or access some form of tech on your computer, you’d like it to do exactly what you want- not do what someone else might want.
When software is being developed from a narrow perspective, with restrictions on how the code can be manipulated, is it really serving us in the best way possible? As our demands for what our technology can handle increases, it is necessary for a broader audience to be participating in its development. For example, if you are an aspiring lawyer looking for an app, you probably want current, former, or other aspiring lawyers to have contributed to its creation. I can think of infinite examples just like this one. The point is, OSS gives anyone, from all walks of life, an amazing opportunity to gain access and contribute to an increasingly significant part of our lives.
Recently, Jobspring Partners San Francisco spent an afternoon at the SF-Marin Food Bank in the city where we, along with a group of many volunteers, contributed to feeding those less fortunate. The SF-Marin Food Bank estimates that one in four Bay Area families struggle to feed themselves and therefore, food banks are an extremely useful resource for the surrounding communities.
We spent the afternoon working in teams of six, taking turns bagging, weighing and packaging bags of rice. Rice is a staple of any diet and it was amazing to see just how far a little bit of this grain would go to help people and families in need.
In the time we spent at the SF-Marin Food Bank, we managed to bag 4,500 pounds of rice which is the equivalent of feeding 10-15,000 local families. This can make a huge difference to families struggling to make ends meet. A contribution from an organization such as a food bank is the helping hand that many need to survive. As some staff pointed out, this resource is often their lifeline.
Our visit to the SF-Marin Food Bank was a valuable and enlightening experience. If you would like to know more about volunteering opportunities visit http://www.sfmfoodbank.org/.