I am switching things up a bit today due to something that happened last night.
As I mentioned, I am out of town for the weekend-in Palm Springs. Before dinner this evening we stopped in at the Ace Hotel for a cocktail on their patio.
We were there for awhile and had a bit of light conversation with our server. I happened to mention that we were from the home of the Ace Hotel chain (Seattle) and she replied that she once lived in Seattle. When she returned to the table, I asked how she ended up in Palm Springs. She said that she had moved from Bend, OR for better weather (both are deserts; Bend is much colder in winter).
I happened to mention that one of my oldest friends, Evan, lives in Bend. To which she exclaims, “you don’t mean-?” And says his last name.
Turns out she was involved in the theatre community in Bend-as are my friend and his other half-and they all know each other quite well.
Small world moment? Absolutely. But also a great reminder of how stepping outside your comfort zone and striking up a conversation with a stranger can merit an unexpected connection. In this case, it was between someone I had never met and one of my oldest friends found nearly 900 miles away. In other cases those conversations can merit a potential connection to a great new position.
What’s the takeaway? LinkedIn is a phenomenal tool-but it cannot and should not replace face to face connection. So make it a priority to step out from behind your LinkedIn account and meet new people.