Are you the one who shows up to the party with the pizza or the PowerPoint? Why not both?[/caption] For most people, evenings and weekends are when you get the chance to finally shutdown your desktop, shrug off that blazer, and leave work behind. But marketers aren’t most people. We know that a lot of the work that goes into attaining and promoting clients actually takes place in the moments between the meetings. It happens when you’re out grabbing lunch. It happens when you’re walking the dog. It happens when you’re in a heated debate about the latest Netflix reboot on your high school friend’s Facebook post. It happens through networking, which often best succeeds when we’re least expecting it. And if you really want to get the hot gossip and best connections that’ll help you get ahead from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, it often means having your game face on—even during those in-between hours that other people like to call “downtime.” But how can you bring up work when everyone else just wants to kick back and relax?   Here are a few suggestions:

1. “Haven’t I seen you on LinkedIn?” 2. Use business titles as name cards around the table. 3. Scatter “Hello My Name Is….” stickers by the door. Cross out “Name.” Write “Job.” 4. Brag that you can build a castle out of business cards. 5. Start a conversation by asking what everyone wanted to be when they grew up. 6. Complain about student loans, then ask if anyone is really using what they studied at school. 7. Claim that you have a superpower that lets you guess someone’s job in three guesses. 8. Introduce yourself as “Bob Smith, who works in Marketing.” (If someone else is introducing you, feel free to just add the “who works in Marketing” part.) 9. Wear your company’s branded T-shirt. If it’s formal, wear it under your dress shirt and have an “accidental spill” at some point, forcing you to change. 10. If you’re feeling pretty bold, you can always just…ask how work’s going! You might try: “Do you still work at…?” and trail off expectantly. Or: “Remind me, have I already told you about the project I’m working on right now….?” (Bonus: Say there’s a great article you’d love to show them, and send them this link!)   Even if you’re not the type who finds it easy to get conversations started, you won’t have to work too hard when it comes to us. Just reach out—we’d love to hear about your work, and where you want to go.]]>