Networking events are great for working professionals…until they’re not. While going to a one of these events can help open new doors, establish relationships with others in your field, and allow you to promote your brand, they can also be a hotbed for painfully awkward conversations with people you’re not getting anywhere with, and having no way to escape. And while you can manage an escape with a “gotta go” at a friend’s house party, the same frankness doesn’t fly in a business setting, where you have to be polite and professional for the sake of your career’s future.
So what do you do if your conversation has hit a dead end and it’s obvious you’re just wasting valuable networking time? The secret is being prepared beforehand and having an exit strategy at the ready, should the need for one arise.
With that, CareerBuilder came up with a great list of tactics for how to escape awkward networking conversations. The slide show above features some of our favorites.