Last Friday, I had the pleasure of participating on a panel discussion at my Alma Mater, Clemson University for the university's student diversity initiative. First, it was an honor and a privilege to be asked to be on a panel that was filled with very accomplished Alumni. As panelists, we were able to give student's an 'insider's peek' into the 'real world' with our individual experiences with life after graduation as well as share how we've met challenging situations in diverse working environments with perseverance (my favorite definition of Moxie).
I was very impressed with the students and their questions of us. We really wanted to make sure that they were prepared for internships and careers. There were a couple of points that I made, specifically as a Hiring Manager that I wanted to share to my Moxie friends.
Networking – it’s critical to develop contacts and connect with a varied group of people - especially in a college setting when it's easy to get in a comfort zone and only hang out with people of sameness or like interests. That has the potential to limit you and your opportunities. I also stressed the importance of starting to network while in school. Sending out a plethora of resumes is a common strategy that will eventually yield a job. However, a recommendation from an acquaintance is more likely to yield a more promising career.
Social Media – This is a big one! You have to be careful of what you are posting because employers are trying to find out as much as they can about you before they make an offer. Posting offensive images or language could put you at risk of not receiving job offers. And I would know because I Am a Hiring Manager!
Taking these two tips to heart can make a difference, not only during your college career but in the real working world too. It was fun giving back and connecting with friends I have not seen in a while. I look forward to spreading My Moxie at other upcoming events so stay tuned!
You finally get the meeting you've been praying for and all the important players will be there. You want to let them all know you are ready for the next level.
You cannot approach this meeting like you have approached other meetings. Your only desire cannot be to simply obtain the information that is provided, however it must be to leave a lasting professional impression that speaks volumes about who you are and your confidence to get the job done.
Here is what you should do:
Here’s a tip. Mirror the level of those that are a position or two above you or whom you are meeting with. This lets them know know you are engaged with the total company vision and direction
Don’t look at another meeting as a boring block of time that keeps you from doing other things. Look at it as an opportunity to display your professional style and engagement. Looking the part can only work in your favor, however, not looking the part will definitely be a topic of discussion. Like anything, don’t just stumble in to things, plan and strategize. Set a goal of making a positive mark, so that you can begin to strategically realize your corporate advancement.
Below are some of my pics from some of my favorite stores, Ann Taylor, New York & Company and White House | Black Market.
Enjoy and let your Moxie Style lead the way!
When you are invited to a networking event, you should attend even if you do not have anyone to go with you. I know that going it alone does not sound appealing, we all have to put ourselves in positions that will stretch our limits.
So, what can you bring to the event? You probably won’t believe this, but you are expected to bring your smile and your willingness to mingle. That’s all! No need for nerves to come along either. Trust yourself, you have what it takes.
Keep this in mind, you were invited because the host thought you would represent yourself well and participate in the event in such a way that would draw people to attend future events. Don’t believe me? Well, ask yourself, why are you at the event? It is probably because you heard from your associates that it was a great networking event, see my point? (smile)
Bring your most confident smile and your business cards. Try not to have business cards with crossed-out phone numbers or altered social media links. I know they can be expensive, but if you think you can get away with handwritten business cards and still be taken seriously, be my guest. Just kidding, don’t!
I recently attended an event and met many established entrepreneurs who were prepared to mingle with us, "newbies". It was amazing to me that at the beginning of the event several people either did not bring business cards, or they only brought a few cards and literally told people that they only had planned to give those out under “special circumstances." Can you believe it? Yes, someone actually said that.
Rule of Thumb: you have to be careful how you treat people because you never know whom you just might be entertaining. At a networking event, you will cross paths with the same people again and again. So, let’s refrain from limiting the amount of cards you bring because you deem many of us not worthy.
Bring enough business cards. You don’t have to bring your whole inventory, but bring enough to get you through a few hours.
We all know some attendees are not really there to network. They are there to “say” they were there and have no intention of really doing business outside their circle. That’s frustrating. However, you cannot allow yourself to focus on those few attendees. You must focus on your task at hand and follow through to accomplish what you have strategically sought out to do.
Okay, that's my #MoxieAdvice! Now talk back to me :)
Ah, another networking event and you can’t get anyone to go with you, but you must go. Breathe. Head high and chin up! Everyone has anxiety about networking events when they are neither familiar with their surroundings nor anyone attending.
There are three types of people who attend networking events:
The savvy networker realizes the goal is to make as many connections as possible. It is important to remember you have seven seconds to make an impression. However, be strategic. You do not need to collect cards that you do not intend to use. Pace yourself and make meaningful connections. People you might not get around to meeting will take notice of you.
Be approachable and greet everyone standing nearby. Make small talk while maintaining eye contact without staring. Know your “good” conversation topics, and keep your right hand free. A firm handshake displays confidence and is your start to networking.
One more thing. Be sure to seek out the host and introduce yourself. Thank them for the invitation, because you want to be invited to other events. However, do not stay more than a couple of hours, and definitely do not close the place down. As gracefully as you entered, you should depart the same way.
Here's a little Corporate Moxie Trivia: Is it appropriate business etiquette to wait until asked to present your business card while networking?
Comment in this thread or send us a Tweet or post on our social media with the answer. We may have a little treat for the "Savvy Networker" in YOU! @CorporateMoxie OR Corporate Moxie on Facebook!