Strange Way to Score a Job #4: While Flying Coach Class
If you're anything like me, the second you sit down on a plane, you slap on headphones and attempt to avoid eye contact with everyone passing by. While this approach does wonders for maintaining personal sanity, it may not be the wisest (or, for that matter, most socially conscious) approach.
Think about it: Who flies all the time? Business people. Who knows about upcoming job openings? Business people. And who makes hiring decisions? You guessed it: business people.
Online scheduling service ZocDoc found its current operations manager on an international flight to New York. The woman happened to be sitting next to the company's head of recruiting, and he needed to borrow a pen.
"They started chatting, and by the time they got off the plane, he asked her to send in a résumé," says ZocDoc's Jessica Vaccaro.
Three days later, the woman came in for an interview. Within the week, she was in the office and on the job.
"Our recruitment manager just had such a good feeling about her, her personality and her vibe," Vaccaro says. "He thought she would be a great addition to the team."
Now, that's what you call a first-class experience.
Strange Way to Score a Job #5: While Drawing Dancing Women
Unexpected job-scoring connections can come from everyday situations -- but they can also spring up from some of the most unusual environments.
Just ask Marc Holmes. Holmes, a graphic artist, found his latest money-making endeavor while drawing models at an art class. Let me be a little more specific: He was drawing a seminude woman who was pretending to be seduced by a skeleton puppet wearing a tuxedo on her left hand.
Yes, you read that correctly.
"She was dancing with a skeleton puppet and doing a striptease where the puppet removed her clothes," Holmes explains, without a hint of bewilderment. "You know those ventriloquist dolls -- always out of control."
Holmes and one of his fellow sketchers got to talking, and the topic soon turned to their professional interests. Holmes mentioned his background in film visual effects. Turns out his new pal was looking to hire someone for the visual effects studio he helped run.
"The pile of drawings I was producing convinced him I had work ethic, so he just said, 'Can you come in tomorrow and start work?' Simple as that," Holmes recalls.
Now, you may not ever find yourself sitting in a slightly erotic puppet-enhanced figure-drawing workshop, but there's still something to take away from this: When you're in an environment related to your passion, pay attention to the people around you. Odds are, plenty of them share your interests -- both personally and professionally.
"Pretend that everyday life is similar to a seminar or convention," suggests Consequential Strangers author Melinda Blau. "Remember that small talk has real value."
You don't need a gyrating pervert-puppet to see the value in that advice.