Whether you are currently looking for a employment, looking for a career change, like to network, or enjoy drinking Hot Cocoa I have an great idea for you.
A group of my friends and I have recently started what we call Cocoa Night. The name came because we started them as a "sit around and drink hot cocoa while networking" time. Last Wednesday was our first official meeting and we had 5 guys show up and it was a great experience.
We met at McDonald's (because our organizer thinks that they have the best, reasonably priced, Hot Chocolate) at 7:00 PM. After chatting for a few minutes about mini-vans we took turns going around the circle and telling a bit about our current career status and what we are looking for. Some of us are in stable jobs but would like to explore our career options more, some of us are in less stable rolls and looking for a better option, some of us are struggling with employment and need all the suggestions we can find, some of us are thinking about entrepreneurship opportunities and need new ears to bounce ideas off of. We found that the more varied the situations the more ideas and insight there is to discuss.
After someone would introduce their situation we would spend a few minutes asking them questions to make sure we had all of the pertinent information. Then we would discuss some ideas or next steps suggestions that we might have for them.
After we had gone through everyone we spent a while jumping around and offering up various tips, suggestions, what has or hasn't worked for us in the past.
Job hunting can be really hard, and finding your career path can be even harder at times. This is a way that we've found to help bare one another's burdens. And while I was listening to what other people were looking for I found myself trying to think about who I might know that would be able to help them with that.
We've decided to do ours the second Wednesday of every month. Our first time we had 5 and I've heard that there are already a few others that have heard about it and expressed a desire to attend.
So, my encouragement for you. Try it out. You don't have to meet at McDonald's but find a place to meet up with some people and discuss what you're looking for in a career or how you got to the place you're at. Keep it very laid back and nonjudgmental to encourage openness and a continuing flow of ideas. Try it out and let us know how it goes.