Some people are intimidated by networking; and I'd say rightfully so. Even for the social butterflies of the world, it can be an exhausting experience. Add in factors such as introverted personalities, limited time, small budgets, etc. and the networking experience becomes outright frustrating for some folks.
Enter Brazen Careerist, an online community and career center for Generation Y, with a snazzy new tool that eliminates just about all the anxieties you've ever had about networking.
This is how it works. You log into your Brazen account, look for the Network Roulette wheel and click to get started. The first prompt will ask you two questions: (1) What are you looking for?, and (2) What are you providing?
Can I just say how much I love that? I will admit that the first time I participated this intimidated me because everything I've ever learned about networking has taught me to be a little more curteous than to just walk up to someone new and ask for what I want. With Network Roulette you can literally focus all of your networking energy on how you and the other individual can trade information and/or resources.
After answering those questions (and don't be shy...), you will be randomly matched with someone and the 3 minute countdown begins. You will have to use this time wisely as it's all you have to determine if the person on the other side can help you or if you can help them. Once your conversation is done, you have the opportunity to connect with those individuals through their Brazen profile. And, of course, if you've agreed to offer each other something you will want to reach out to the individual once you are done networking.
Now let's just say you're not interested in talking to that person for 3 minutes. You're 30 seconds in and your interests don't match and the conversation is dry. The solution? Move on to the next person. No awkward pauses, exit strategies or having to pretend that someone across the room is calling your name.
And that's it. Simple as that.
But don't just listen to me. Head over to Brazen and give it a try yourself!
Full disclosure: Well there really is no full disclosure since I'm not getting paid or being provided with anything in return for writing this post. I'm simply a fan of the Brazen community, and I'm just spreading the word about the launch of Network Roulette!