5 Smart Ways to Avoid Networking Blunders
Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

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So you’re at an event and you have the highest hopes of meeting great people who could likely help advance your career. Then that dreaded moment comes where you’ve totally flopped in the first impression department, embarrassing yourself and wondering how you’ll come back from the horrific experience.

Maybe you said a joke that was more offensive than funny, or you got a case of word diarrhea, revealing a bit too much about yourself, your current job or your boss.

Well, there are ways you can avoid making the same mistake twice. Check out this strategy for ensuring you don’t flop again:

Have only one drink–you’ll thank yourself later.

This is a big one. Most people avoid networking events like the plague. But of the people who do actually attend, many go for the free booze. Recent grads often don’t have a lot of money. And we’re thirsty. It’s hard to turn down free alcohol.

But at these events, you should do just that.

When you get there, grab a glass and get to know it. Become its friend. Because it’s the only alcoholic beverage you should have while there. A lot of people enjoy alcohol because it gets them to loosen up and makes these awkward situations a little more bearable, but you don’t want to make a fool of yourself. Not here.

Make a fool of yourself later, with your friends. Somewhere where your actions aren’t going to affect future potential job offers. Those free drinks could end up costing you much more than they’re worth.

Read more at Brazen Careerist …

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.

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