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Career Advice: Networking At A Luncheon

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The majority of your promotions and success in the corporate world doesn’t just happen because you can do your job well. The real hiring and promoting happens at the lunch table! Studies show that managers are more likely to hire someone they feel ‘personally’ connected to over a complete stranger. You can start building those connections in more relaxed environments like networking dinners and lunches. Here are some tips to help you get through lunch with your manager.

Preparation
Make sure you can keep the appointed time for your lunch meeting. Stay on top of your work so that when it’s time to go, you are ready to leave. Be sure to take a few breath mints! This seems like a minor thing, but no one wants to network with stinky breath.

Price Range/ Paying
When I’m typically not clear on who is paying for lunch, I automatically assume I’m paying for myself. If your boss offers to pay, be sure to say thank you but don’t expect them to pay just because they invited you out to lunch.
Select anything you want on the menu that’s in the $7-$12 price range at a grab-n-go place like Subway, or up to $20 at a more formal sit down lunch. If someone else is paying for the lunch, it’s best to pick an item that is of equal price to the item they order or less. Try to order last so you can stay within the same range. If you are paying for your own meal, it’s still best to spend a modest amount. You can’t ask for a raise after you just spent $50 on lunch!

Food
The type of food is really important. You don’t want to order anything that’s too messy (ribs) or anything that will have you asleep in an hour (huge burger and fries). My go-to food is a salad or sandwich/wrap and chips/fruit. These items can be eaten quickly, aren’t typically messy foods, and can easily be taken back to the office if you don’t get a chance to finish.
Avoid foods with heavy garlic or onion. Even the best breath mints don’t always cover that smell. If you’ve never been to the restaurant before, ask for recommendations. You’d hate to be at lunch miserable because you aren’t enjoying your food. Don’t forget to WAIT until everyone has their food to start eating.

Written By: Dee Rene for LaughCryCuss.com

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