Networking: A Good Reason to Stop Smoking

Why on earth am I talking about smells? Seems silly, but smells can ruin a networking meeting or interview. It’s true, you only get one chance to make a first impression.

In a previous post, I talked about the dire consequences of wearing strong perfume. Here’s another ‘smelly’ story. Jason (not his real name) came into my office reeking of cigarettes. It turned me off immediately. Intellectually I could rise above the smell, but on an emotional level, whenever I think of Jason, I think of cigarettes.

Now, mind you, I have a certain amount of sympathy for smokers. I smoked in my younger days and liked it. I quit twenty years ago, based solely on the predictable negative health consequences.

Smokers don’t usually realize that they smell – so listen up. If you smoke, you can’t hide it with a mint or gum. Your hair and clothing latch onto that smell with every fiber and it follows you around like a cloud over Pigpen, the Peanuts character.

Don’t let denial get in your way. If you can’t stop smoking, try to avoid it before you arrive for a networking meeting. Be very sure that your clothes are cleaned regularly (take those suits to the cleaners even if they are not soiled – just to get rid of the smell). And whatever you do, DON’T try to hide the smell with powder, perfume or shave lotion.

Try to quit. You’ll be a much healthier person.


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