How to Create Networking Opportunities at Work

by JOHN MUSCARELLO / Follow Me on Twitter Here

I brought in cookies and brownies from my dad’s restaurant for my co-workers. Everyone loved them because they are not your average run of the mill cookies and brownies.  It never occurred to me that bringing cookies to work and having a candy dish on my desk are forms of networking. Here are two ways food at work creates networking opportunities. 

Having A Candy Dish Makes You Likeable

  • In order to be a successful at networking you have to be likeable.  I have gotten to know so many people at work I don’t work with on a daily basis because of my candy dish. Who doesn’t like a piece of candy when they are having a tough day?  Then when they walk away other people ask them where they got the candy and more people come to my desk.
  • Will having a candy dish or bringing food to work really help your career?  According to the article “How To Be The Type Of Employee Your Boss Wants To Promote” by Jessica Hernandez, “Ninety percent of people who keep a candy bowl on their desks for people who visit their office or drop by are promoted.” 

Bringing Cookies To Work Created Conversations

  • Networking is all about creating conversations and building relationships with individuals.  I received ten emails from people I don’t talk to on a daily basis thanking me for the cookies.  It gave me a chance to interact with co-workers with whom I normally don’t get to interact.
  • People were stopping me in the hallway and asking where the restaurant is located.  This is a great opportunity to find out the area where someone lives. I would say “Are you familiar with the area?”  If they were, it allowed me to keep the conversation going by talking about other things related to the area.

Creating conversation and being likeable are essential when it comes to building your professional network.

Take One Of These Steps Tomorrow

  1. Bring in cookies or munchkins to work and place them in the staff kitchen and send an all-staff email letting people know they you brought in a little morning snack.
  2. Buy some candy and keep a full candy dish on your desk.

Do you have a candy dish on your desk?  What conversations unique conversations have occurred because of your candy dish?

Please share this article with your network if you find it helpful.

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Sam

    I always engaged in these tactics from my heart at a previous job and unfortunately some of the people do not respond back to me anymore even after I have usually done my part of reaching out?

  • Lauren

    Hi I just wanted to stop by and say that I think you have really great content on your website. You have some really great tips, and your articles are incredibly helpful, especially for recent grads like myself that are just starting to build their network. Thanks for the great insight!

    • John Muscarello

      Lauren- You just made my day! Please let me know if ever need help or have a question about networking or your career!

  • Cedrick

    Excellent post. I’m going to try adding some candy on my desk to see how that works.

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    • John Muscarello

      Thanks, Cedrick. Please let me know how you make out. I would love to hear all the great things that happen because of your candy dish.


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