MSEJ October 2017 - Page 18

For other industries, this may mean having a personal website with an available portfolio of your recent work and appearances in the press. Know your industry and the expectations of those you encounter at networking events. If you’re in an industry with a website or a portfolio requirement, make sure that information is available on your business card.

A Miniature Toothbrush: You laugh, but do you know how many networking events take place over a meal? Before you go around and start mingling, remember to check your teeth before flashing a smile. A smile is only a winner if it doesn’t have spinach in it. And you’ll kick yourself later trying to

remember how many cards you may or may not have passed along, shining in spinach-filled glory.

A firm handshake with good eye contact: Don’t break their hands, but don’t be a sad, limp fish. Give a handshake that is frank, honest, and that claims your presence in the conversation. Make eye contact as you do so—they’re more likely to remember your face if they can actually see it (which is difficult to do if your face is trained on their shoes).

I know, networking is a scary word for some of us. It can seem like a monster, ready to grab your ankles and take you out. But, like all monsters that lurk under the bed, it can be unmasked, and you will sleep easy again.

You just have to get out there and face it, toolkit in hand.