Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Trick To Getting To Know Everyone in the Office

So I have decided to be proactive about getting to know the office by asking everyone and anyone to lunch.

The idea was sparked when the magazine’s assistant editor, who hasn’t worked there very long, asked me to lunch. (This lunch, two weeks into my internship, was also the first time I realized we had a cafeteria.) During the hour we talked, she explained that she was feeling the same way I did: that it was hard to get to know people and it was easy to go a whole day without talking to anyone. It was great to hear that I wasn’t alone in feeling a little lost, but it was scary that she had been there for months and still felt that way – was I going to let my entire internship fly by without ever getting to know these people?

I decided the writers and editors at the magazine are just too amazing for me not to try to learn everything I can from them. We have people who have been foreign correspondents and people who have been editors at some of the biggest magazines in the world. I want to talk to these people and hear their stories. And I realized after that lunch with my assistant editor that most people are more than happy to talk about themselves for an hour.

So, I started with my editor. He was explaining the production process to me a bit, but then had to go to a meeting. So I asked – I’d like to think casually, but truth is I was blushing and nervous – if he’d like to get lunch. “I’d love to learn more about the process and the magazine,” I told him. I think it caught him a bit off-guard, but he said yes!

Thrilled by my success, I tried again later that afternoon, when a different editor stopped by my office to ask how I liked the mag so far. We chatted a bit, and then I said, “Do you want to get lunch sometime and talk more?” And he said yes!

The lunches are both scheduled for this week, and I’m so excited to get to know these editors and to learn more about the mag. (Also, it will be another chance to eat at the cafeteria, which I never go to on my own because I still get lost trying to find it.)

Have you ever tried this trick? How did it go? Do you have other networking tips that work?

See you next Wednesday,
Edit Intern

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