Going Down To New York City for a Good Schmooze

Tomorrow I’ll join photographer and fellow GoNOMAD staffer Paul Shoul and take an early train into New York City. We will get there early enough to scout out our Brooklyn digs for the night and then proceed to a luncheon hosted by Maine and New Brunswick Tourism in Manhattan.

The reason why we make these pilgrimages down to the Big Apple is connections, and the simple reason is that to be successful in our business, you’ve gotta play along. People want you to come to their lunches, their cocktail parties, their presentations of regional tourism events, they want you to say yes.

When I am asked to give advice to my interns about how to get a job, I always mention how much people want to be liked. People also want to hire people they like. So showing up at parties, smiling, and being inquisitive (that’s why we’re journalists) is a key part of the networking you have to do to get a job. Let them tell you exactly what they want, I advise, don’t talk too much and be as much fun as you can.

I tell them to think about how much time people spend with their co-workers. So if you’re someone who is fun to be with, who is upbeat, and positive, and contributes to an overall feeling of goodness, then you are someone who they will be more likely to hire. Forget about big brains, and your grade point average when you were in school. For employers, it’s how easy will it be to train this person and do I want to spend eight hours a day in the office with them?

But back to the schmooze…it’s key, and it’s what determines in many cases who they want to invite to come to their country on their next press trip. So after the lobster feed, we will go over to the new offices of Spanish Tourism and partake of their wines and tapas. Like anyone who just moved in, they want to welcome us to their new crib. And like any visitor, we’ll take the tour, ask the questions, and generally be the fun people who they want to spend more time with.