Pearls from the Boomerangs: Networking

There’s a word repeated to students and college grads everywhere: Networking.  Rule number 13: Network all the time and everywhere.  To get ahead in today’s world, networking is the key.  So,  when friends invite you along to meet famous people to network, you go.  That’s how I met Ryan Nickulas from the show, “The A-List” which I have seen on occasion.  But of course by occasion means, they showed a marathon and I was compelled to watch for hours.  And on top of that, he and his staff were all incredibly nice!  So, if you ever come into a couple hundred dollars to drop on a fly hair do, go to the Ryan Darius Salon.  No seriously, they have tea there.

For this self-proclaimed misanthrope, networking and talking to people is never an easy thing to do.  For the best friend to the misanthrope, it’s simple.  So never mind that Ryan has celebrity status because my best friend A is magical and has the most awesome networking skills known to man.  She should probably teach a class.  Obviously she had a leg up because she had already developed a rapport with them already.  But as soon as we set foot in Ryan’s beautiful three chair salon with its beautiful decor, luxurious smells of potpourri permeating through the air, an awesome playlist going and women with Chanel purses were seated in the chairs, a feeling crept into my gut.  A distinct feeling that I was nowhere near fabulous enough to be in the room.  This woman was wearing Chanel, Prada, God knows what else and dropping several hundred dollars to get her hair done on a Wednesday afternoon while I was wearing shoes from Target and a three dollar tee-shirt.  How exactly am I supposed to start a conversation.  Obviously mentioning that I got this neon yellow tee-shirt for an amazing three dollars is out of the question.  Help?

A, however, doesn’t miss a beat and begins introductions and conversations as though she’d been there every week getting her hair done with products that, combined, cost half as much as my education.  Still, she threw me a huge opportunity by inviting me to come with her and these lovely glamorous people who even invited me back.  I have no clue if I’ll have money for that but still, the offer was lovely. A worked the room and inadvertently made new contacts that day with another customer.  According to this networking guru, the trick is to act like you know what you’re talking about and keep the conversations going.   If you get the chance to meet people, famous, connected or even just some one random, meet them.  Engage them in conversation and try your damnedest to make an impression (and preferably a good impression).  Even if you feel out of place, keep a firm spot in the conversations and ask questions.  But most importantly, have friends with great networking skills so that you can watch them and hopefully it will rub off on you.  That’s what I’m hoping for.

*I don’t own the photos.  No suing.


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