Graduation was a dizzy experience punctuated by the repeated employment inquiries. Well-meaning relatives were unaware that I dreaded this question. No, I didn't know if I was going to grad school. No, I don't have a job yet. No, I didn't hear that such-and-such was hiring.
I was nervous not only about applying for jobs, but also about communicating with business professionals. Also, it seemed that I didn't know where to find any - business professionals, that is. My dad advised me to network. I told him that so far, at age 22, my network consisted of maybe three people. Clearly, networking gold.
So at any rate, when I heard about the Youngstown Social Network, it seemed to be just what I needed. A chance to hand my resume out to people that may in fact, be hiring? Yes, sign me up.
As it turned out, the mixer proved to be that and a little more. I exchanged resumes in return for business cards (feeling oddly embarrassed that I didn't have a business card; what was I, 12?) but I also got to try my hand at real networking.
It can be intimidating talking with someone new, especially when that someone wears an excellent suit and hands you a flashy business card. But the ice-breakers made it easy. The ice-breakers forced conversation, actually, which was good. Suddenly, I found myself not only talking about my job experience, but also doing the "Oh, you worked at such-and-such? I know --- who worked there?"
I left with a little bit more confidence, a folder full of business cards, and a job interview. I also resolved to get myself a business card.