Topic: Career/Training

Networking Basics: Business Cards?

Posted by Anonymous on 50 Points
This seems so simple yet I can't seem to find a clear answer. I'm trying to get more into networking. I've joined several websites and have some events lined up. Obviously, business cards are a must when meeting face to face. However, I would hate to lose contact with someone in my network because I've changed jobs... so, is it acceptable to create your own 'personal' buiness cards versus using your current employer's version? I don't know how this would come across. Many thanks.
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  • Posted by Peter (henna gaijin) on Member
    Definitely acceptable. You can give out anything you want as a card. If you don't think you will be at your company a long time, feel free to make your own card.

    Your company may not like it if you use their card format/logos/etc. but with your own info.

    Another option would be to hand-write personal information on to the company card, like phone or email. Or perhaps print a sticker that you stick on the back of the card with the info (though I think hand writing comes across better - you can hand write info on some cards in advance and give those ones out to contacts you are more concerned about staying in touch with.
  • Posted by Deremiah *CPE on Member

    Tom Peters in his 50 profs books tells you to start thinking Me Inc.

    I think a card of some sort would be helpful especially if it is geared to your personal information, home address or cell phone. This way it's more friendly and personal right up front. If you need some help with this please know there are plenty of resources available. If you get stumped send me an email. This works. I've been doing it for years. Is there anything else I can do for you?

    Your Servant, Deremiah, *CPE, (Customer Passion Evangelist)

  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Member
    I second AugStra's line.

    If I was your employer, and I found you were handing out a business card in business meetings, other than the one I had provided, I would be very concerned. Unless there was an outstandingly good explanation, I should think your position would be untenable.

    If, however, you are talking about networking other than on the company's time and expense, perhaps there are mitigating circumstances. In that case providing a personal, rather than a prospective business contact, with a personal card rather than your employer's card would be acceptable.

    However, I would caution you strongly against giving out a personal card unless it is relevant and in context with the introduction. And if you are on your employer's time (= employer's money) you should be representing the company, not yourself. To do otherwise would be unethical.

    Hope this helps.

  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Member
    BTW Bit of Esprit d'Escalier here...

    If what you are worried about is losing contacts when you shift employment, allows you to maintain electronic links with people using a variety of e-mail addresses including your "old" e-mail addresses. So you can stay linked if you are in your contacts address books with any of those e-mail addresses. (Providing your contacts use Plaxo).

    Also, if you are looking at electronic networking I would recommend participating actively in the MarketingProfs forum.

    Another good networking forum for professionals is


  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Member
    I'm too lazy to search for the exact post... but your question reminds me of a fantabulous idea that KHE member Darcy.Moen shared here a while ago. (At least, I think it was Darcy.)

    She had a personal card made that said:

    Darcy Moen
    Since 1965.

    Someday I plan to steal her idea myself! ;]
  • Posted by Deremiah *CPE on Member

    I thought everyone saw that post where I called Darcy a she/her...but Darcy is a man and a great guy if I might add.

  • Posted by SRyan ;] on Member
    Oops... Darcy's posts are so SMART and ON TARGET that I assumed he must be a she!

    Shelley ;]

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