Some Reflections From a Networking Event

Read comments from job seekers who participated in a networking event sponsored by Prudential.

Prudential was one of more than 300 companies that signed a 2014 White House pledge to not discriminate against long-term unemployed job seekers. More recently, Prudential is serving on the advisory board for the Ready to Work Business Collaborative, which is trying to educate employers about the benefits of skill-based, inclusive hiring.
After one of our NSCN Volunteer Career Coaches learned about an invitation-only Refer-a-Friend networking event Prudential was sponsoring, NSCN and another NSCN Volunteer Career Coach, who works at Prudential, were able to arrange for several NSCN job seekers to participate.

One job seeker commented: 
“It was a nice event but navigating the landscape was a little challenging since I did not know what to really expect until I asked a few questions. Reading name tags with acronyms for which I was not familiar was a great conversation starter but, with the limited time, you wanted to speak to the people who are more involved with your area of expertise. I did learn that the actual organizational business structure is more layered than I could understand from reviewing their website prior to the event and that there are PM opportunities throughout the company. I did not hand out any resumes but did collect business cards and made some great LinkedIn contacts.”
Another attendee shared this: 
“In a cocktail party-style job fair with no defined job category tables or stations, you may want to approach the first company employee you see and ask them to help you find the manager who handles your area of expertise. They are often eager to help, and this can save you time circling the appetizer table trying to figure out who you need to speak with.”

The third job seeker noted: 

"... Perhaps, more conversations would have been possible if our expertise was noted on our name tags. It is sometimes awkward leaning over and trying to determine who you are talking to and what expertise they bring to the event.  Going into the event, I was more geared towards a job fair mentality as opposed to walking around meeting various individuals. It would have also have been easier to meet and greet folks if you were not carrying around resumes, etc.  All in all, a very worthwhile event." 
Thanks to our NSCN members for their comments, and to Prudential and our coaches for the opportunity!

And in case you missed it, NSCN did a webinar on Networking for People Who HATE Networking!