“Network with intention.”
These are the words that I will remember most from Rob Cullen’s presentation today about networking. The number of times I have heard from people that I need to start networking must be entering the thousands at this point. But, despite its importance, it is hard to know where to start, and I often am left aimlessly chasing my own tail reaching out to random people and wasting my time. It makes it a lot easier to network when you actually know what you are doing and are able to measure your stated goals, as well as making the connections you make more impactful. Something else that he talked about was going through a list of attendees at a networking event ahead of time and trying to scope out who you want to talk to there. Based on the group exercise, I think I would be a pretty decent networker since I find it easier to talk to people that are alone and might seem a little shyer on the outside because I think I can relate to them in a small way. As it usually turns out, they often have a lot of great things to say. One more important thing that I learned about networking, whether it is in Ireland or not, is that the placement of your badge should be on the right side of the body so that when you are shaking someone’s hand, they can see your name without having to look around all over the place.
Despite the rainy day, the Auxilion visit was interesting as it showed what a more “common” office setup is like in Ireland compared to the two tech giants of Microsoft and Google. Surprisingly, the offices were almost completely empty, besides a few workers here and there. Besides being a reminder of how much Covid has affected work, it is also a reason as to why they have been around for so long: they care about the preferences of the employee. Despite most of the Auxilion workers working from home, the work is still being done and everyone is happy. Naimh even said that the most commonly asked questions during interviews were about flexibility. That likely is a good thing for talent because they can spend less time commuting and worrying about coworkers and more time thinking about creative ideas and solutions for Auxilion. They must have been doing something right since Auxilion has stayed afloat for 25 years and counting, a period where many tech companies have come and gone.
A common thread in all of the site visits? The amount of diversity in both nationality and personality in each company. Having more perspectives never hurts, especially if you are trying to make something new and be on the cutting edge of technology.
Also, this will be the last time I don’t bring my raincoat at night…