Do you have a a business card? A question I was often asked during my career as an assistant. The answer was generally no and then I would feel a bit stupid. I always felt I should have a business card. I would go so far as to say I felt a bit resentful when colleagues were pulling out business cards in meetings or during networking events and I wouldn’t have anything to hand over to my new contact. Why didn’t I have business cards? Well most of the time my organisation didn’t feel it was necessary to pay the small printing cost. It wasn’t just me, none of the other assistants had business cards either. Why would you need business cards you are just assistants was often the reason behind the decision. I once asked to get some printed and was told that I would need to present a business case, unlike my colleagues who would just ask me to sort them out without a second thought. When faced with this situation I would often keep a stash of my boss’s business cards and write my details on the back – not a great advert for my organisation but at least I could give someone my details if they so required!
In some of my roles I did have business cards and I found that I was constantly handing them out to people. They were necessary and helpful. I felt better equipped with them in my pocket, especially at networking events where I would meet other assistants, new suppliers and potential clients for the business. I felt more confident knowing that I had something to hand over when someone asked to swap details and more importantly I felt like my firm were taking my role as seriously as my Executive.
Flash forward a few years and business cards aren’t quite what they used to be. Instead new contacts will often find my LinkedIn profile or follow me on Twitter instead of asking for a business card. Nevertheless I make sure I have some in my purse if the need arises because I never want to feel stupid particularly over a bit of cardboard that costs so little but is an integral part of doing business. Should all assistants have business cards? Of course.