I read the weddings/celebrations section of the Sunday New York Times, but with an ulterior motive. What has this article got to do with careers? Frankly, quite a lot in terms of networking information.
Let us look at a recent Sunday’s New York Times. There are 48 weddings listed. Let us dissect a few, changing the names for the sake of privacy.
Katherine G. & Mark B. The bride, 29, went to Yale and is a fourth-year medical student. The bridegroom, 30, is a law student at Yale. The bride’s father, Mr. David G.. is a professor of public service and the director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and an editor at large for U.S. News & World Report Magazine. (Those interested in public service and journalism note this contact.)
The bride’s mother, Anne G. is a family therapist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (Here is a lead for professionals in family therapy.)
The bridegroom’s father, Steve B., was "until recently" a chairman and head of the executive committee of Sprague Devices, in Michigan City, Indiana, an automobile parts manufacturer. (Any mechanical engineers interested? This job may still be open!)
The bridegroom’s parents are on the board of the Chicago Jewish Federation, and his mother, Teri B., is a trustee of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago. (If you plan to make a career in the non-profit field, shouldn’t you explore this lead?)
Dawn B. & Henry M. Dawn B., 32, and Henry M., 32, are both lawyers. The bride is an assistant corporation counsel for the City of New York. (Young lawyer, how about contacting her?)
Her father, Dr. Edwin R., is the chairman of the communications department at Texas A&M University. (Potential communications major, seek his advice if you want to enroll there.)
The bridegroom is a partner in Clark, Gagliardi & Miller, a law firm in White plains. (Mr./Ms. recent law graduate, should you take the initiative to explore this law firm for career opportunities?)
Valeria B. & Christopher N. The bride, Ms. B, 28, is an account planner at Deutsch, an advertising agency in New York. (Advertising majors, please note.) The bride’s father, Herman B., was a civil engineer for the Asian Development Bank in Manila. (Civil engineers and international business majors, make special note. Until recently may also imply that this international civil engineering job may still be open.)
The bride’s mother, Giovanna, was a math teacher at the International School in Manila. (Teaching majors, if you want some intercultural and cross-cultural advice before going abroad to teach in an Asian country, here is a fine resource person to touch base with.)
The bridegroom, 32, is a management consultant in the Washington offices of McKinsey. (Business majors interested in consulting, here is a raw lead.)
The bridegroom’s mother, Nancy, is a lawyer in Bethesda who provides companies with consulting services on environmental regulations. (Chemical engineers and lawyers in the environmental protection field, note the connection.)
The bridegroom’s father, Thomas, is an associate director of the enforcement division at the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington. (CPAs, accountants and lawyers, go for it.)
Hilary F. & Justin G. Hilary F., 28, works at the Related Capital Company, a real estate investment business in New York, where she is vice president for investor relations. Justin G., 30, also works at the Related Capital, as an executive vice president for property acquisitions. (It is not unusual for one of the spouses to leave for a different company to further his or her career. If your field is investor relations or real estate acquisitions, I would keep a close watch on Related Capital for future openings.)
The bride’s father, Steven F., of Framingham, Massachusetts, is employed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a manager in optical systems engineering. (Physics and engineering majors, this is worth checking out.)
The bride’s mother, Barbara, also employed by M.I.T., is a software analyst for the laboratory that examines weather data gathered by radar and satellites. (Meteorologists and software programmers, where are you hiding?)
The bridegroom’s father, Donald, is the director of business development in the asset management division of the Ramius Capital Group in New York. (An ideal contact if you want to find out more about business development.)
The bridegroom’s mother, Laura, is a senior designer at Medical Space Design, a company in Dallas that creates spaces for hospitals and other medical institutions. (If I were an architect or a civil engineer, I would pursue this specialty.)
This article may appear ludicrous, but if you examine it closely, it is an unconventional way of networking. I do not have any hard-core statistics to cite for its success rate, but I have a gut feeling that it is high.
I would even nudge you to write to these people – cold. One good way to begin is to tell them sincerely that you saw their lovely wedding or engagement picture in the newspaper and you want to send in your congratulations. In a low key way, you want to ask their advice and network with them. The same goes for the parents.
Remember what Dale Carnegie said: "One of the most important ways to make people like you is to make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely."
To that I would like to add: Networking should never stop, unless you are asleep or in a coma.
Don Sutaria (www.careerquestcentral.com) is founder and president of CareerQuest, a life and career coaching business based in Union.