Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to work a room

Unemployed people like to sit at home, safe, cozy, becalmed. But everyone needs somebody sometime.

Arnie Fertig, head coach at, says you need to put yourself out there. First, make this your "real self," not some oily, ingratiating annoyance. Have a thought-through short pitch about you and your quest, but don't launch into a monologue--try some chitchat to find a common interest.

Listen to the other person. Ask about how their day was, what their work is like ("How did you get into that?"), ask if they like what they do.

Focus on the person you are talking to--don't let your eyes wander to better prey. Keep it short.

Be positive--don't vent or gripe. If you do, the person may wonder if you brought the troubles on yourself or are unable to shake the past.

Be polite. Don't take calls, keep it brief (they may be networking, too), and always try to get a card. Ask if it's OK to call, maybe in a few days.

We used to go to free monthly mixers at the Chamber of Commerce. They may still have those--call and see.

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