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Tuesday, 30 April 2019 07:36

How do you describe yourself to others a networking events when you have several different active careers?

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I have faced this challenge many times myself. As a registered nurse working in mental health as my main career, I've usually had several side-hustles on the go at the same time.

When I attend business networking event, I'm usually there to promote one of my businesses or organizations that I'm involved with rather than my nursing position.

In some of the books I have written I use a system I call ‘how high does your elevator go?’ The concept is that buildings have elevators that go to different heights. Some may go to 2 floors some may go to 20 floors. Some buildings may even have multiple elevators.

The concept when applied to using your elevator pitch is that you come prepared with multiple elevator pitches, should the occasion to use some arise.

I also come prepared with multiple business cards. When attending a business networking event, I'm usually wearing a sports jacket and a dress shirt. I strategically place business cards for my different entities in each of my shirt pants and sports jacket pockets so that I can readily offer them as needed.

What I would suggest is developing a one-size-fits all elevator pitch of yourself that describes you best. Then, when listening to the other person's elevator pitch, I would look for clues that allow you to interject with the other things you offer or your other roles.

The elevator pitch you choose to lead with should be appropriate for the setting you are attending. For example, I have served as a union representative with the role of helping my fellow workers with labour disputes. It would be inappropriate for me to introduce myself in a management setting as being a union person with the role of helping fight against management.

One thing to remember in an initial interaction with somebody you are meeting for the first time, is your purpose is looking for common areas of interest. You're not trying to give them your complete life story or make a sale on the spot.

Your goal is to determine if there is enough reason to get together for further conversation i.e. coffee chat, to explore commonalities.



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