The Sapient Ape

Life as an employed MBA grad during an economic recovery. DISCLAIMER: Everything written here is fiction.

Goin’ to a party, sippin’ on Bacardi…

Wanna meet a hottie, but there’s Alex, Steve and Marty?

OK I am totally obsessed with that song — I have listened to it at least a hundred times since last night.  Its just so catchy!

Originally I was gonna write about business plans or new business ventures, but I’ll table that for now, and instead, talk about “networking”.

Networking is much bigger in DC than I have seen in any other city — cept maybe Shanghai.  OK DC networking is still bigger than Shanghai, but Shanghai comes close — with its expatriate networking events.  But in DC — everything seems to be about being seen by the right people.

I mentioned this in my second post, regarding free stuff, but lets continue it on a different tack.   How does one “mingle” during these types of events, to maximize networking?  Especially if one (like me) doesn’t even have a business card.  I often get business cards from people who probably won’t remember me, or who I really don’t feel that comfortable hitting up later for a job.  Whats the best way to utilize these events, or the best way to reconnect with people you meet at these events who may not know you personally, but perhaps know you through a friend?

Its funny for me to ask these things, coz I, to all eyes, have exceptional networking skills, but while I’m great at getting drunk with people and having them love me, as far as getting a job goes, my vast network has done shit for me.  So what could I be doing wrong?  Perhaps I should be less jovial, and put on more of a serious face?  Although I think I can come across as impressively professional before drink 5.  But say someone introduces you to someone “important”.  How do you reintroduce yourself without being annoying?  How do you leverage that into more of a lasting relationship?

I’ve got two events coming up this week — actually three.  The CAPAL thing tomorrow, some Asian YP thing in Arlington on Thursday, as well as the Asian/South Asian Bar Association mixer, where I will be the only non-slimeball present (sorry to all the lawyers out there).

So tips?  Recommendations?


Filed under: Networking, , , , , ,

3 Responses

  1. dima says:

    hey misha! very persuasive piece especially part of five drinks.

    go get more contacts with women. they can be uber-useful. in my case it always turns to be more effective: they like to talk to young and smart meat which very often ends up with busniess gains. in media women take 85% of all jobs, so opening doors or helping with the coat is sometimes more important than numbers in your business plan.

    keep it real!

  2. mishaali says:

    so your advice is basically…

    shmooze with the lovely ladies?

    k, got it covered!

  3. Fly says:

    I don’t claim to have any worthwhile networking wisedom to offer. As my network has done me (and you) little in this economy. I do agree in part with Dima. At the risk of sounding cliche and redundent – keep it real.

    At the age of 22, the only way I was able to convince large companies to consider my fledgling posse of insane activists/social service providers as a viable and trust worthy business partner was to show that I was a trust worthy individual who was eager for their advice and capable of being a viable friend.

    Where I was successful was when I did get some face time, I’d just try to connect. Not in relation to my immediate goal – a check. But in a feable attempt to make a friend. Or get a mentor.

    Often times it helps to humble yourself. You are a likable guy. The life of the party and all that good stuff. But sometimes, you need someone who can be the super hero and the sidekick at the same time. Trying finding a place between Robin and Nightwing.

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