Networking Is Just Making Friends

Let’s get down to business. We’re chatting with the infinite source of wisdom that is Shruti Kapoor, Staff Engineer at Slack and formerly Paypal. What are we talking about? Jobs, duh. Catch the whole convo here.

TL;DR: Networking isn’t just cheesy, hand-shake business connections, it’s about making friends. And you’re probably not doing as much as you should to prep for your next interview.

We’ve got good news and bad news to start. And both are the same news. You never know when your next layoff will happen. The bad side is that even if your business had it’s most successful year yet, outside of spending a couple grand talking to whoever replaced Miss Cleo, you can’t predict when the next layoff will happen. The good news in this is that you get to make moves now to fully prepare you for when the day comes.

So what does prepping for career doomsday look like? We always talk about keeping that resume extra crispy and keeping an active log of what you’re actually doing/accomplishing at work. But we haven’t really touched on networking inside your company. If you weren’t logging on every day or sharing an office with someone, would there be a space that you regularly connect with your coworkers? I mean you already know them, so why not give them an add on LinkedIn and stay in touch. And on the note of networking— why does it always feel so cringey. Like it’s something your dad taught you and you’re supposed to be wearing khaki pants and talking about ‘hitting the range’ this weekend. Let’s take a moment to get rid of that mental image and replace it with one of just making friends.

That’s all networking is at the end of the day. And, soft shoutout to my introvert friends, if making friends seems too difficult too, try approaching people in settings where there’s an easy and obvious subject. At a conference (cough cough) that could be approaching a speaker about questions you had on their topic. In an online space, you can comment about my corgi literally any time. Every compliment goes straight to his ears, apparently. You get the point. It doesn’t have to be some awkward convo where you just say “stocks.” back and forth. Go make some job friends so they’re there when you need them most.

Okay, now some quick interview advice. As much information as you can get up front the better. This may look like reaching out to the recruiter that contacted you and asking what the interview will be about. Good recruiters have already invested their time in you, and they’ll want you to succeed. Getting info can also look like asking questions to the hiring manager ahead of the interview. Ask for an outline of what will be discussed. For specifics, go back up and watch the full show. Also don’t forget to bring a list of questions with you. It seems simple enough, but one of the biggest determining factors on candidates getting hired is how interested they seem in the position. We’re flooded with similar talent and experience, so going one step beyond makes all the difference. And if you’re going after roles in areas you’re already passionate about or a product you love, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Final housekeeping note, here’s some upcoming events that you don’t want to miss out on because we really do want to hang out:

January 29-31 - THAT Conference in Round Rock, TX

Not only are we hosting the opening happy hour, but our very own Dev Advocate (me) will be giving a talk titled "Why Building Community & Content Can Launch Your Career."

February 8 - X Couchbase in Nashville, TN

We're joining our friends at Couchbase for an evening of tech talks, networking, and, of course, plenty of food and drinks. If you'll be in town and want to join, shoot us a message and we'll send you more details!