Thursday, January 31, 2008

This is why you bring a business card

I'm not, how do you say...good with the networking.

It involves all kinds of social skills like walking and talking (and sometimes gesticulating), which usually come natural to me but seem to run away screaming when I'm around people I don't know in a social event or (even worse) attending something specifically designed for networking. Even the word makes me cringe.

I fare much better when distracted by a particular set of goals, like when I'm volunteering at an event, taking a class, meeting a writer's group for the first time, etc. At least I think so... But for some reason there's still just something unnatural to the whole thing as far as I'm concerned.

The other day while I was walking at Fox over my lunch break, I ran into a guy who had temped in my office a few months ago for about a week. We caught each other up, reminisced, complained and so on. Like you do. Eventually he took off and I walked silently for a bit, and if you're wondering why you should look at the first two paragraphs again.

A bit later he was walking with a woman and called me over to introduce me as they passed by. We talked, it was relaxed and comfortable, and I learned that she was (shocker) also an aspiring writer and that we had similar taste in TV shows. Fantastic.

In a networking sense, logically the next step would have been to exchange emails or phone numbers or at least last names and yes I realize how uncomfortably close to dating this sounds so don't think that didn't weird me out ... but instead when the picketing ended we just walked to our cars, mouthed some lame promises to keep in touch (how exactly?) and went our separate ways.

Which brings me, finally, to the title of this post: This is why you bring a business card.

Yes, I'm sure I still would have felt weird and lame and pretentious whipping out a card, but at least I would have had something ready. Instead, I still felt awkward and didn't even get a possible contact out of it.

So... Sara (or Sarah? who knows?), if you're out there and by some chance actually reading this, sorry if our conversation turned strange at the end; I was just trying to do the Hollywood thing and fumbling. At least in retrospect I can feel slightly amused at my ineptitude -- that's every writer's right.

Anyone else out there have any amusing/embarrassing networking stories?


Elana said...

Oh lord! Yes, I'm a hopeless case. It's our birthright as writers. (Is what I tell myself soothingly.)

Giblink said...

Very interesting post. Well done and good luck with your work.

Seo Link Master said...
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Seo Link Master said...
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