Business as Usual: Networking = Not working

“He thinks he can use the jail for networking to be somebody. In that way, he’s always operating.”  – John Leguizamo

My inability to generate interesting thoughts on the spot combined with my awkwardly sweaty palms places me at a disadvantage at Alberta School of Business networking events.  My lack of intellect can be blamed on my summer job for the past five years. Working at a golf course with minimal mental stimulation causes a person to develop “weather mumbles”.  The main subject of these incomplete incoherent sentences is the daily weather, my personal favorite being: “it is not the heat, it is the humidity”. I only have my hyperactive sympathetic nervous system to blame for my clammy hands

Networking is instrumental to future job search success. It is important to take every opportunity to attend events that the Alberta School of Business organizes. I have realized that in order to become more comfortable at these events you must practice your networking skills.

I have learned that when networking one should avoid the following:

  1. When the conversation with a CEO of a Fortune 500 company ends abruptly do not lead into another conversation about your ex-girlfriend and how she is currently filing for a restraining order against you. Sure, this creates potential for new conversation, but it may send the wrong message.
  2. I know memorizing all those journal entries can be tough, but the managing partner at an accounting firm already knows all about A-L=E.
  3. If the industry leader that you are talking to is bald it is still not a good idea to talk about your own receding hairline and theorize on the heredity of male partner baldness.
  4. Reinforce importance of point 1.

I recommend checking out different networking events that are made available to students by the undergraduate office and the various business clubs.  These are a great opportunity to realize what your strengths and weakness are when it comes to talking someone that you have never met before.  You can learn about many of these events on the Alberta School of Business and University of Alberta Business Career Services Facebook pages, BSAonline.ca, and the posters all over the Business building.

I heard that it is supposed to rain tomorrow. When it rains it pours. Remember to be professional but always be yourself. At the end of the day you are selling the easiest thing to sell, yourself!

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