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Ducks networking. They tend to wing it. PHOTO: Sarah Lofgren

Things You Probably Shouldn’t Do At Your Next Networking Event

Or, Sarah’s attempts at networking examined

I’ve been freelancing for almost two months now and it’s been a huge opportunity for me to learn new things and experience a bigger world.

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“People working at their laptops in a coffee shop seen through the window” by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Wear the kicky shoulder zebra brooch you’re so excited about.

See, I’m actually torn on this one. The thing is, the brooch is SOOO cool. At the same time, if you wear it, it’s all anybody wants to talk about. However, having an obvious topic of conversation to discuss isn’t the worst thing. Yet, that topic should probably be your killer skills and not the creature sitting on your shoulder.

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Such cute!!!!

Talk about otters for more than five minutes.

I KNOW. This is hard for me, too. However, most people at freelancing events, as much as they might want to talk about otters, know they should spend their time comparing SEO strategies.

Chew more than one piece of gum at a time.

It’s easy to get paranoid about your breath when you’re meeting new people, but try to keep it down to one piece of gum. Otherwise, you start making weird smacking noises and people look at you in a way that isn’t mean, exactly, but also doesn’t seem assured of your competence.

Forget to bring business cards.

Whoops! Sometimes, living in the digital world, it’s easy to forget that physical items still serve a purpose. I hadn’t even thought about getting business cards printed, but after four different people asked me for mine, I realized I should probably get on that.

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Do you like it? I’m actually super excited.

Stress yourself out about showing up late.

I do this all the time. I’m ridiculously punctual and sometimes, if I know I’m going to be late, I get super anxious.

Forget your LinkedIn password.

LinkedIn makes me crazy.

Seem too eager to grab the wine they offer you.

If someone asks you if you’d like a glass of wine, it’s best to say “yes, please” instead of “OMG, YES! PUT IT IN MY HAND RIGHT NOW!”. They’ll also notice if you drink it too quickly.

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“Two people drinking beer and wine at a marble table” by Mattias Diesel on Unsplash

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Engaged in inadvisable wordsmitheries and other creative acts.

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