Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NFL for Networking

National Football League is one of the biggest event in USA. Americans love football, and how. It occupies their 'beer and chips' Sundays. While the recession may make NFL lose some of its sheen, it will still be a great event to cheer up people in a time that has not been so good otherwise.

However, with the economy beginning to recover, it will be interesting to see how people can capitalize on this event to help them land with a new job, a new contract or a new business opportunity. This can become a gigantic networking event spanning over the course of six months.

How can you utilize this time to network with your prospective client or employer?

Sports events open people up. Since most of these events are on Sundays or Thursdays, when people are at their casual best, they do not have their guards up. You can always find a fan in your prospective employer, or the other way around. Specially people from similar geographical regions tend to follow same teams and you can easily connect with people on this.

Second venue that becomes available during NFL season is 'draft pool' groups. If you are one of the great fans, you can meet lot of other like-minded fans and who knows! The more people you are connected with, the more your chances of landing with that new opportunity.

Possibly people who you meet at these events will not likely be interested in even talking about job scenarios or economy. But some high-level managers and executives have a good ear for things. Your enthusiasm for the sport will definitely get you noticed more for your attention to details. You can show your knowledge if you champion the game. If you don't know the sport so well yourself, just pay close attention to what they talk about and show that you are a good listener (specially because they are more willing to talk about this sort of casual topics) and willing to learn new things.

During the time of NFL season, every Monday morning starts with discussions about last night's games. It works as a great ice-breaker. I have personally used this technique to gel with more people at different work sites. And I know of a certain ex-colleague who was immensely popular among even higher execs for his enthusiasm and knowledge of different sports.

Utilize this big event for your networking. If nothing else, you would make some new acquaintances who know someone else who has got your next job, or next assignment. Promote yourself as someone with knowledge on a variety of things, a good listening ability. Exchange your Twitter handles after such casual sports bar meetings (mine is @Tejas_Bhatt). Send a casual message after you've met for the first time, and if possible meet for another games. You know the deal.

PS: This post could have been just as much true about FIFA, European Football Cups or English Premier League. Heck even IPL or ICC-WC. It just made sense for the time to concentrate on NFL as it is definitely a huge event starting next month itself.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Whitehatsweb.com goes live!!

Finally we have landed on a good resolution about whitehatsweb site. That is to use a Wordpress account for now, and give it a better look than what our first static html page was. We can take care of the better looking site later when we actually have time to do so.

And it honestly feels like having a baby! Although I have been a part of lot of web development projects before, this has been my first ever involvement from picking up a domain name to choosing a theme (and eventually designing a logo someday)!

It feels great. I know there is a lot that can be done better. We look forward to your suggestions. We need to do lot better. For instance, I want to make the footer richer with content. I will install social media buttons there, but what more can we do?

We want to continue with Wordpress for now. It gives a distinct experience to the user to go through blog posts on Web Development and SEO first and then to the other fine details like About Us, and Contact Us. May be I will do something to add that to all pages.