Speed Dating for Government?? Why Not?

I just had a great meeting with a young professional from GSA. Some of the tips and advice that each of us were able to share were absolutely exciting. There is something to be said for meeting someone face to face, and realizing that you share so many commonalities.

Our discussion centered around educational background, career aspirations, and how to take the next career step. We shared stories, connections, and suggestions for doors to knock on and people to call. All of this excitement got me thinking…..

While social e-networking has its place and is highly valued in our fast paced world, wouldn’t it be great to arrange a “speed dating” event for government workers who are looking to make that next career move, or education move?

Something that I’ve realized since stepping into the public sector is that the opportunities are endless and uncovering the appropriate opportunity is at times just a matter of hearing about it.

Keeping that in mind, I am considering organizing a structured “speed dating for government” event once a month. The format basically works as follows:

1. A room of numbered tables and chairs is set up.

2. Each participant is assigned a chair number.

3. Each table has an assigned moderator.

4. Each person at the table (usually no larger than 6 to a table) has 2 minutes to tell where they work, how they got there, what type of opportunities they are looking for (if any), and/or a specific program that they have had a positive experience being a part of.

5. After everyone at the table has shared you exchange cards/ contact info.

6. Switch to another table and set in your chair number and repeat the process!

This usually continues 8-10 times until you have switched as many times as there are tables in the room (not to exceed about 1 – 1.5 hrs), ensuring that everyone has had a chance to meet everyone else.

If you are interested in an opportunity like this, please reply to this posting and I will be happy to begin organizing. If I get enough response I may be daring enough to try an online version down the road. 🙂

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Pam Broviak

I really like this idea. Perhaps you could add sharing information about one cool program or project you are working on that created a positive change. But not sure about using the word “dating” in the title. It’s cute in a way, but I almost didn’t read this because I thought it was a post about actual dating. 🙂

Christopher Whitaker

I agree with Pam about the title – Lord knows I would have one angry girlfriend is she saw I was going to a ‘speed dating’ event!

Candace Riddle

@Harlan – It isn’t for everyone, but it always worked well in past business settings that I have worked in. People usually return month after month with new ideas, new comments, etc. and relationships really tend to blossom over time….but like I said…its not for everyone.

@Everyone – Comments well taken on changing the name to say “speednetworking”. Wouldn’t want to upset those significant others ;-p

Candace Riddle

Suggestions for days of the week, times, and places that work best are open for discussion. I’m aiming for mid to late September for our first event! Spread the news. Further details to come!