By Will Privette, special to MiLB.com
Throughout this year’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, four attendees of the PBEO Job Fair have agreed to chronicle their employment-seeking experiences (meet them all HERE.). In this, his third installment, Will Privette hangs out in the lobby, gets mistaken for hotel staff and extols his networking skills.
Do You Work Here?
Today I woke up with a mission. Through the first two days of the Winter Meetings I hadn’t really seen the people that I try to catch up with every year, so with no interviews in place I decided that I would spend the afternoon people watching. The hope was that I would see everyone I wanted and needed to see. Mission successful. Throughout the day I was able to run into almost every person that I wanted to see and got to meet some new people as well. Many people would ask what I was doing there and I told them I was searching for a job, etc.
One funny thing of note is that today I was wearing a dark suit with a vest that had a red/burgundy back. Apparently, that’s what people who work at the Gaylord Opryland hotel wear because two different people came up to me asking if I worked at the hotel. They both wanted directions. One lost person asked “Do you work here?” I was quite confused, and replied “As in do I work in baseball?” I guess they were that desperate or I looked that official. (I’m banking on the latter.) After hanging around for way too many hours I headed back to my room for a bit, to regroup and make a wardrobe change into more casual evening attire (button down and dress pants, no tie or vest).
Close to 9 p.m., I headed back downstairs and went to the hotel’s Cascade area to see if people were there and it was PACKED! That was the place to be at night. I ran into all my bosses and front office personnel from my time with the Braves and Indians and caught up with them. Hanging out and watching the hoards of people come through was entertainment in and of itself. Before I went back to my room I ran into two people in particular that capped off a great night. One, I was expecting to be at the Winter Meetings, while the other was a very nice surprise.
In the lobby I saw people posing for pictures with former manager and general manager Jack Mckeon. I met Mr. McKeon back in 2004 and have stayed in touch with him ever since. He saw me while he was taking pictures, walked over and said hello. For 85, he has never looked better. He is one of my favorite baseball people I’ve encountered. The second person I ran into was my former pitching coach when I worked for NC State’s baseball team, Tom Holliday. I hadn’t seen him since I graduated in 2013 (the year NC State when to the College World Series) so it was very fun to talk to him and catch up on what I’ve done since I worked for NC State.
In yesterday’s post I gave a little bit of advice for readers, so I want to try and give a little more. Yes, you may come all the way to the Winter Meetings and leave empty-handed, but you can always network. Whenever I’m not interviewing, I am networking with people. Do not be shy about going up to people and talking to them. You don’t want to be invasive, but there is a certain way to go about it where you can come off as nice and impressionable. I always talk to people, and even if I don’t know them I try and make a connection. Maybe we have a mutual friend or former coworker. People enjoy stories and like to hear when you know someone that they know. So Will’s Words of Wisdom for today is do not be scared to approach people and network and market yourself. You’re there at the Winter Meetings to get a job and they aren’t going to come to you, so you have to make yourself available and show what you can bring to the table. And a little luck never hurts. ~Thrill
Stay tuned tomorrow for Will’s final update from Nashville.