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Strategic Networking or is it Serendipity?

Jane Jackson

Some people believe Serendipity is luck, or chance or accidental.  I dont.  When it happens, it is meant to happen at that moment, right where you are.  However, there are times when you can create your own Serendipity or at least create a likely situation where it may occur!

Lets be strategic about this.  Now, Im talking about creating Serendipity when it comes to your job search or the promotion of your business (in the case of the job search, your business is YOU!)

Attend an event, conference, social gathering or other networking opportunity with an expectation.  Something great is going to happen.

You are going to meet someone who is going to make a difference in your life.

Golden rules:


1.         Focus on letting yourself have fun, free from agendas, creating a positive impression on everyone you will meet.


2.         Tell yourself that you are going to have a great time and will meet interesting people.


3.         Armed with a positive attitude, open for all good things to come, ensure that you are prepared with what is necessary to create the serendipitous moment business cards, marketing material (if appropriate.)  Its all well and good to expect great things to happen just ensure you have the required follow up!


4.         Be observant.  Keep your focus on what is going on around you who is attending an event, what is going on around you, all this will give you clues as to whom you may wish to approach to ask a question or strike up a conversation.  Be open to being approached too.


5.         Evaluate your surroundings. If youre attending an event, conference or social networking event, ask yourself the following questions:


Where will I be the most visible?  Where are people most likely to engage with me?  Who can I meet that is likely to tell his or her friends about me?  Who looks like someone Id like to have a conversation with?


6.         Just BE THERE! Dont plan too much – show up and be prepared to let new people and situations unfold by themselves.  If you are relaxed, others will relax with you too.


7.         Extend every encounter. When talking with someone new and there is a mutual respect developing, ask if they would like to continue the conversation over lunch or coffee.  Be interested. The longer you spend with someone, the more likely you are to discover how you can help each other.  There may be other events you could attend together.


8.         Make your memory happy. After you meet someone, WRITE DOWN (either on their business card or elsewhere) some memory joggers such as what he or she looked like, what you talked about, some personal info you can bring up next time you talk, your common point of interest.


9.         Follow up with a phone call or an email within the week. Use the information gathered from the previous example in your second approach. Prove your listening skills. Then, deliver something valuable like a link, recommendation or article.

Sometimes it will happen and you wont even realise that it was serendipity, other times you will realise that you helped serendipity along a little bit.

Develop a positive attitude of expectation, prepare yourself mentally and when you turn up with a smile, that serendipitous moment (new people, new opportunities) will come to you.




Jane Jackson is a Senior Consultant at Drake International  (Recruitment Services) and Director of Style Success, coaching for success.  For more information visit or contact


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