Networking is like dating: 6 ways to succeed in both arenas

These guidelines will make you a savvy networker, and maybe get you a couple of dates. A dream job and the love of your life? Not bad for a Tuesday.

Nonetheless, I became well versed in the art of networking—or, as I like to call, it dating without touching. (Word of warning: If someone does try to touch you at a networking event, he’s not there to network.)

For those of you searching for jobs and unsure what to expect from networking events, it’s similar to dating—if you’ve never dated anyone, I’ve heard is pretty solid.

These six tips will make you a pro networker, and maybe get you a few dates.

1. Don’t get drunk.

Trying to have a somewhat sensible conversation with someone who’s snockered is pretty hard. People do get nervous at networking events, as they do on first dates. You’re meeting new people and trying to impress them with your wit, know-how, and charming personality—that calls for a drink.

But just one.

Networking events tend to attract a core group of people along with newcomers, so word spreads. Loosen up with one drink, but remember your purpose and be poised, mannerly, and engaging.

2. Never discredit anyone.

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