There are some professional service vocations that require practitioners to maintain a certain level of competence by obtaining what’s called continuing professional development points. The goal is 10 points in a 12 month period. You obtain points by attending seminars, usually during lunchtime. Certain seminars are better than others, sometimes because of the content but most of the time because of the quality of lunch served. I digress. Now because I had redefined by role, racking up these points became mandatory. My attendance at one of these seminars would prove to be very fruitful indeed.
As I was stuffing my face full of a mini roast beef and pumpkin ciabatta (I think there was some pickled eggplant in there too), staring out the window from the 50th floor of the office building where the seminar was being held, I was approached by a friendly woman who interrupted my lunch, I mean, introduced herself. Aside from the non-conforming attire (but as we know we should never judge a book by its cover), there was something immediately interesting about this person. She was unlike the typical professional you’d usually meet at these seminars. After about three and half minutes it was time to take our seats so I stocked my plate up again (this time with salmon and capers), grabbed an OJ and sat down on the isle seat I’d saved for myself earlier.
During the presentations, I couldn’t stop thinking about who this person might be. What I’d gathered was a first name and the obvious interest in the topic of the seminar. I started searching on my smart phone…connecting and exploring any and all clues I’d gathered. Thankfully this person had quite a unique name which made my search pretty easy. Bingo. A public blog post introducing her to the staff and community of the new job she’d started with a brief history and some really interesting facts. I had to talk to this person again…what better time than straight after the seminar. I looked but I did not see. She was gone. I missed my opportunity.
Now the strange thing was I couldn’t find any contact details, none whatsoever. Not even an email address. From memory, the company didn’t even have a phone number I could call, weird eh? So I had a name and a company. That afternoon I thought I’d try and send an email and see what would happen. I tried about 8 or 9 different combinations: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and so on. They all bounced except one. So here goes tip #3: do what you can, to get what you want. There is no one else who will do for you what you can do for yourself. I didn’t get a reply for over a month…