A business card is a fabulous thing. You’ve got your name, number, email, and company name written all over it.  It tells someone who you are, where you work, and what you do.  It may be glossy, colorful, or even have raised lettering.  It’s a necessary part of doing business.

Do you remember getting your first stack of cards?  I’m sure you were super excited and couldn’t wait to hand them out to everyone you met, even if they had no reason to call you. It’s just cool to have one with your name on it! But, I’m betting that your first thought was not “I’m gonna pass these out to all the hotties in the club tonight!”

I don’t usually do the club scene thing, but I love to dance and it just so happens I took a salsa class before heading out to try my new moves.  My friends and I had an amazing time at Cuba Libre in DC on Saturday night.  The place was packed with Salsa and Bachata dancers and we felt like experts in no time….well, who am I kidding…it’s fun but I need more practice.  (practice makes perfect, wink wink)

More interesting than the dancing, people watching, and music?  The amount of business cards I came home with.  You meet a fun guy, we dance (they’re all great dancers) and then they’re handing me their business card…”call me.”  I look at these cards with their professional information all over it…including the company they work with.  My question is this…instead of handing out your business card and putting your professional reputation on the line, including that of your company (who you represent at all times if you’re flashing your card) why not use technology and swap numbers on your phone….or better yet, how about these “Call Me, Maybe” cards?  (okay, they’re cute, but seriously….right?)  The point is, use something else….

If you’re heading out to the club this weekend with a stack of cards, because it’s a convenient way to “network,” (and who has pencil and paper on hand?) you may want to reconsider.  What happens if you drink too much, make bad decisions, end up with a stalker who knows where you work, etc?  Your poor judgement could cause you some serious issues, including damaging your professional reputation. You want your colleagues and those you come in contact with to respect the work you do and the company brand you are trying to promote.

Think twice before “dusting the crop” with your business cards and come up with a new game plan.  After all, if you make it rain, your cards are just going to get soggy anyway…

What do you think? Got any stories to share from an HR perspective?

Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/10EGBaN