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Top 5 Places to Network At Work

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When people hear the word networking, they often think of going to events and joining association. But just as important (if not more important) is networking at work.


Work networking is different though and often happens in weird places. Here’s my 5 best places to network at your agency


1) Local Starbucks – Ahh…your local Starbucks is filled with people just like you. If you hit it during rush time, you are bound to see a colleague. A great way to catch up, see how they are doing, and hear about their project.

2) Cafeteria – Not all gov’t agencies have them but the ones that do…are perfect for networking. It’s kind of a glorified high school with different cliques but try to sit at different tables and meet lots of groups.

3) CFC – Combined Federal Campaign is the federal government’s annual charity drive. You know the time when there are countless candy drives, coin wars, and more. Volunteering for CFC is a great way to interact with people outside your division.

4) Retirement and Going-away Parties – By celebrating someone else’s departure is a good time to connect with those still staying there. The best retirement and going-away parties get great turnouts across lots of departments. Have a slice of cake and diet coke and network.

5) Elevator – The simplest, most used, and most effective…is the elevator ride. I don’t know how often the elevator was useful for me when I ran into someone I hadn’t seen, needed help from on a project, or met for the first time.

What’s your top 5 work places to network?


Also here are some other top 5’s of mine:
Top 5: Best Places to Have a Government Job
Top 5: Worst Places to Have a Government Job
Top 5: Tips on Teleworking
Top 5: Gov’t Shows That Should Exist
Top 5: Worst Things To Say in A Meeting
Top 5: Ways To Handle A Broing Meeting
Top 5: Signs You Need A New Job

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15 Comments

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Profile Photo AJ Malik

The elevator for sure. Take advantage of the close proximity and captive audience to execute your perfectly crafted elevator pitch.

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Profile Photo Andrew Krzmarzick

How about jumping on a conference call early? People hate the silence and tend to talk about things other than work while they’re waiting for everyone to join (and this gives the teleworkers a chance to connect with in-office or other teleworking colleagues).

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Profile Photo Henry Brown

for us who are remote teleworkers, it is a challenge to network but what usually happens is there is a significant amount of networking going on at various conferences(training, project completion, branch meetings, division meetings) that I had co-workers attend. Depending how often these opportunities occur the networking will occur even when management would rather we would be on topic. During these opportunities, doing the local restaurant scene becomes an excellent networking opportunity.

Although oven discouraged, the outside the office party scene becomes an excellent work networking opportunity.

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Profile Photo Ed Albetski

Really have to agree with number 4.
Employees seem to come in waves and I’ve noticed recently that they leave in waves too. We’ve had three retirements here just this week. And at a division’s chief’s retirement party I ended up having a great discussion with two folks from different areas I hadn’t really chatted with in years. This was an in-house cake & speeches no-liquor thing but as well as saying goodbye to a friend, the conversation was well worth my attendance.

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Profile Photo Bill Brantley

@GovLoop – Just as good as lunch is meeting someplace for breakfast. I seem to have better networking success with a good breakfast meeting than lunch.

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Profile Photo Tricia

1. breakroom
2. designated smoking area – these employees seem to know what’s going on outside their business unit/division unlike non-smokers who’s circle remains much smaller
3. restroom – but is this just a female thing??
4. front reception/lobby area
5. parking lot/public transporation stop!

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Profile Photo Terrence Hill

I agree with the Restroom for networking, although it’s only good for short conversations. Others include:
1. Volunteer Service Events, Especially on Saturdays
2. Happy Hours, Especially with Younger Set
3. Fitness Center, Especailly at Lunchtime
4. Before and After Meetings
5. On Social Networks Like GovLoop and LinkedIn

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Profile Photo Bill Brantley

Another tip that I read somewhere – keep a candy jar on your desk and keep it full. If they want the Butterfinger, then they are going to have to talk to you.

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Profile Photo Nichole Henley

Totally agree with the CFC item #3!! When I volunteered two years ago, I chose to be our command’s lead and I helped to arrange and implement fish fries, hot dog sales, white elephants, silent auctions, etc. You name it, I did it! And the result? (other than raising money for charity)— I have people come up to me out of nowhere who have moved on out of that command saying “hey! I know you! You did a great job with CFC! What are you doing now?” It’s awesome. Plus, I got to serve people food….pleasure!!!! 😛

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

Bill – Totally agree on candy jar.

Nichole – What worked best with CFC to actually raise money? Fish fry vs hot dog vs silent, etc

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