The Power of Connections

career connections

By Aleem Afzal

How Chipotle and an Apple Watch landed me a job interview

This write-up was the winner of a contest entry for a book giveaway hosted by The Niche Movement РA community of young professionals helping you find the work you love. You can learn more about The Niche Movement HERE

A couple of years ago, I found myself unemployed from a company that I had worked for the past three years. This was the first time I was unemployed since graduating college. I had to figure out how to land my next job ASAP in order to keep paying the bills and find some more meaningful work. I wasn’t exactly sure how to start.

A week later I was eating at a Chipotle and noticed a gentleman wearing an Apple Watch sitting near me. Curious (and nervous), I struck up a conversation and asked how he liked it. We ended up introducing ourselves and I found out that he had recently moved into the area from Houston a few months ago for his first job. He had just graduated college with a degree in mechanical engineering.

I had actually lived in Dallas for about a year and studied Electrical Engineering myself so we found points of common ground and built good rapport. I told him about my unemployment situation, and he said that his company was hiring and offered to pass along my resume. Two weeks later I was interviewing for a position at his company!

I didn’t end up getting the job but that moment really opened my eyes to the power of networking and putting yourself out there to connect with others. I always thought that, in order to find a job, I had to attend a bunch of career fairs and shoot out my resume online. But this random encounter with a stranger at Chipotle really changed my perspective and made me realize that your best opportunities can come from places that you wouldn’t expect. 

I learned that the world can be your playground and you can create opportunities at will if you overcome your fears and step out of your comfort zone.

Special thanks to Kevin O’Connell, founder of The Niche Movement, for hosting the book giveaway contest and running a great organization that adds tremendous value to young professionals.

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