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Networking Events: Go Big Or Go Home

This post is about successful networking. And how to make you bring your best each time you head out of the house.

successful networking

This time I need your advice.

For someone who had an experience recently at a networking event. After a long day at the office, he was tired. Mentally and physically.

And, when he arrived, he discovered the following:

1.  He got to the event on time and the event was already in full swing. How does that happen?

2.  He was under-dressed.  No coat or tie. You can never tell at these events.

3.  His name wasn’t on the guest list and the staff had to make him a hand-written tag.

4.  Everyone in the room looked jovial, connected, confident.

5.  He felt less than those three things. An unusual, perfect storm of signs that maybe tonight wasn’t meant to be . . .

So, the advice I would normally give this person is:

  • Find your confidence
  • Forgive your dress code violation
  • Get back in there
  • Lose your fear of networking

But I have a secret to tell you. This guy was me.

Clearly, based on how I was feeling that night, I have to update my traditional advice. My updated advice? For job seekers who normally have it all together? When everything, that night, appears to be running against you?

Successful Networking: Go Big or Go Home

While there are nights when you can find that inspiration, that confidence. There are other nights where you can do more damage. For example, the nights when you just weren’t meant to be there.

Because if you go in slightly damaged. With no landing gear, a tear in your wing and little fuel. You might crash. This makes taking off in the future more difficult. Because the memory of that night might stick with you.

And the next time you attend an event. Instead of flying high, you might hear a soft sputtering. As your engine tries to fire without success. Let’s be clear, however.

This is not a “get out of jail free” card for networking. It is permission to know yourself well enough to understand that some nights are unique. Rare. And you can respond accordingly. To pick your battles.

So what have you done to correct a near crash and burn scenario? What advice can you share with some who have a fear of flying?

Most important?  Should I have left that event?

Thanks Alfredo Mendez for the photo via Flickr.

Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Career Networking

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