Take a Spin: Brazen Careerist’s Networking Roulette

by Emily Jasper on November 9, 2010

In sorority recruitment, we used to have a system to meet as many potential new members as possible. We’d conduct rotations where we’d try to learn something about these women beyond “she’s nice.” When you have just a couple of  minutes, you really have to work hard to get those great factoids about a person that makes you want to talk to them again.

It’s been a number of years since I’ve been working the rounds at recruitment, so when Brazen Careerist’s Networking Roulette came my way, I thought I’d have a hard time.

Nope. Like they say, it’s just like riding a bike.

Networking Roulette is great for the busy person who wants to meet people outside their normal circle. It’s also awesome if you’re in a location where you haven’t quite figured out the networking scene yet. You log in, write a little profile for yourself, then BAM! you’re matched up and see the clock start ticking down.

Having just three minutes to talk to someone, you really need to get at the heart of things. Sure you could spend the first minute saying, “Hello, how are you? Where are you from? What do you do?” OR you could be smart, include some basics in the intro, and your conversation can kick off with, “I saw you just started your own business, what challenges are you facing?”

See? All of a sudden you’re getting into the meat of the conversation because you aren’t worried about pleasantries. We can assume since we’re Brazen folks, we’re already pretty awesme. Now you just want to get to the awesomeness faster! You can “Fan” your match in the moment, and then know you’re probably going to want to come back to talking with them. Watch out, you have 20 seconds left! Leave on a great question for follow up because after three minutes, BAM! you’re already matched up again.

I have to say, if you’ve never done Networking Roulette before, you may want to do a couple practice rounds. You can prepare by reading about the upcoming events on BrazenCareerist.com, checking out which topics might interest you. Take a moment to really think about your intro: “What are you looking for?” and “What are you providing?” are some tough questions if you don’t take a moment to think about them. I even wrote up my answers beforehand so I had something meaningful for my matches. Then click on the Roulette wheel and get started.

Don’t worry, if you get through a couple of matches and need a break, just close the box. I know I realized I wanted to update my Brazen profile because I had moved recently. Then I clicked on the Roulette wheel again, and I was on my way! If you are going to take a break, do make sure you close the window. If you’re still signed in, you could be matched to someone while you’re away, and you don’t want to be a flake who doesn’t answer!!

Networking Roulette is working pretty nicely for me. I’m getting my MBA and have some later evening classes when in-person networking events may be going on. Even if I log in for just 20 minutes of Roulette, that’s potentially six different people I could meet! I have to say, that’s probably more than if I went and spent $15 on cocktails and got stuck in some awkward conversations. After the recession, conversations stopped being about amazing things people did and instead turned to begging for jobs. That’s not the case with Roulette, and you can meet some great people.

Remember what I said, getting to the heart of it?

Go online, take a spin, and see where you land. After your first match, your blood will be pumping, your fingers itching to type some more, and that adrenaline from the timer will make you want to say, “Bring on the next one!” And hey, if you do have an in-person event to go to, you know your experience with Networking Roulette will let you rock it the next time you’re out there shaking hands.