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The Art of Mingling: Proven Techniques for Mastering Any Room

by Jeanne Martinet

St. Martin's Griffin, 208 pages, $9.95

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Circulating, networking, staying in touch — there are many names for it and mingling is as good as any. For job seekers, mingling is essential. When it's done as an art, it can be a most effective weapon. The Art of Mingling flies in the face of much of the current advice that applies to virtual networking over the Web and on cell phones. It urges readers to relish the face to face interactions that will emblazon them in others' minds and to use these techniques to further their career path.

According to Martinet, navigating rooms of real people is a lost art. In her own witty way, she instructs on how to come off as confident and to be both interested and interesting at the same time. Although much of this is written for social settings, it applies to career seekers looking to ignite all possible contacts who can be mutually beneficial in their job search.
"Your mind-set as you enter the fray is extremely important, "writes Martinet. "For the first few minutes of a difficult mingling experience, what you project is more important than what you may be feeling." This gets at the heart of The Art of Mingling - your attitude is everything. Job seekers who may have experienced setbacks can learn from this positive attitude approach.

Like any art, there's a certain amount of craft work involved in becoming a social butterfly. The chapter on dealing with bigger events offers great strategies for large gatherings like Job Fairs and conventions. Techniques for turning to subjects you want to discuss and avoiding unpleasant topics are also helpful. Anyone looking to master social techniques that can help them establish contacts will benefit from this funny, entertaining book.

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