If you are a young professional and are serious about networking in your field, you probably have your own business cards. Just kidding. You probably don’t, because who carries business cards under the age of thirty? Isn’t that for stodgy old lawyers and bankers? Definitely not for the artistic among us, free spirits full of flamboyant disregard for the technicalities of the last generation’s business practices.
Maybe, maybe not. Turns out business cards can be very handy. Here are nine scenarios in which business cards could prove useful—even lifesaving.
1. Gorgeous as heck
What is the professional business equivalent of the iconic, “The name is Bond . . . James Bond”? You got it: business cards. Flipping one of those small, glossy babies out of a pocket or wallet—especially if it has a minimalistic design and a killer title including words like “expert,” “guru,” or “consultant”—is gorgeous as heck.
2. You look like you’ve got it together
The Millennial generation is constantly being underestimated. What better way to prove to that Baby Boomer or Gen-Xer that you’ve got it together and are a force to be reckoned with than to speak their language? The language of business cards. Handing someone your business card is a power play that screams confidence and professionalism. Use it as such.
3. Eliminates awkward “looking for a pen” moments
There are few things that kill a competent, professional conversation quicker than looking unprepared and flustered. When networking, people are going to ask for your contact information. Having a business card to flash means that you’re not digging through pockets and asking passersby for a pen so you can scribble your digits on a nearby napkin.
4. Makes a great conversation-ender
You’re nearing the end of a good conversation with someone in your field. You start to panic, wondering how you’re going to say goodbye to this person. How do you go about ending your conversation? “See you later”? “Be in touch”? “I love you”? Instead of potentially embarrassing yourself in front of your new contact, just flip out your business card and say, “Thanks for your time.” Then walk away tall, you professional devil.
5. Easy way to get your number to that cute person
At least two men have given me their numbers this way in the past couple of months. It is a chill, laid-back way to get that person your number. No pressure, no giving them your phone, no repeating numbers back in case they got it wrong. Just a quick flip of glossy cardstock, and you’re golden. How will they resist?
Have more business cards than you know what to do with? Use them as bookmarks! You can never have enough bookmarks.
7. Scatter them across the street for avant-garde marketing
Once I was walking down the road and came across a slew of business cards, soggy with street water and looking like sad, pale autumn leaves. Intrigued, I picked one up and pocketed it. Imagine if I had been a successful entrepreneur looking for my next star employee! This is a cheap and creative (if questionably effective) way to get yourself some exposure in the real world.
8. A stack of them can prop up a piece of wobbly furniture
Is your table at the local café wobbly? Have a stack of business cards handy? A+B=C, my friend.
9. May stop a bullet if carried in the right place
While I have not had first-hand experience with this (and do not suggest you try it at home), a strategically situated stack of business cards could possibly deter the odd stray bullet.
And there you go: nine ways a business card could save your life. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and be a professional.