Fact: You Need a Personal Business Card (Even If You're Not in Business)
Career Growth

Fact: You Need a Personal Business Card (Even If You're Not in Business)

by Kit Warchol
Photos Joe Kathrina | April 07, 2016

YOU'VE PROBABLY HAD A COMPANY BUSINESS CARD AT ONE JOB OR ANOTHER, BUT DO YOU CARRY A PERSONAL ONE? 

Here at Career Contessa, we spent too long without team cards—which lead to an embarrassing moment at a networking luncheon, when we had to jot down our website address on a cocktail napkin. Not good.

It was more than time—but none of us wanted to spend time on it, you know? Fortunately, just like there are pain-free apps to mindlessly build your savings, there's a totally manageable way to design the perfect business card, too. It's called MOO.

Ordering our MOO cards was pretty much the easiest thing we've done in weeks. We brainstormed what we wanted, uploaded, and picked our card style (we love how thick they are). You can even go wild with extras (can we talk about this gold foil?) depending on how daring you want to be. 

When our cards arrived in the mail, we were shocked to find how excited we were. Seeing our names in bold letters and feeling the weight of the cards in our hands reminded us that, despite the transitions happening around Career Contessa (hint: we're redesigning), we're still a legit company. 

In fact, whether you're part of a company or not, a business card means a lot more than you'd think. 

SMART WOMEN MAKE THEIR OWN LUCK (AND BUSINESS CARDS)

Even if you're not running your own business, designing a professional card for yourself is a must. Consider this:

When I decided I wanted to leave my last job, I knew it was time to start putting myself out there (and networking any chance I got). I had business cards through my company. They were like most company cards: white, square, and bland. I didn't want to be seen with them.

One night, after a motivating happy hour dialogue, I came home feeling like I needed to do something (and maybe a little rosé tipsy). I wanted proof that I was ready to start a new chapter. A requisite Google search for "business card design" led me to MOO. I spent the next hour designing my ideal layout. It was a card on my own terms, according to my own rules. A week later, the package arrived. The cards read:   

Kit Warchol

Writing | Design | Digital Strategy

kitwarchol.com  

IG: _kitwarchol 

In a few simple words, I summarized who I was professionally, but also who I wanted to become. Each card gave all the information people needed to find me online, including a link to my portfolio but also my Instagram, which I knew demonstrated my aesthetic and voice.

In simple terms, those cards made it easier for people to hire me. And they did. Just like that, I hit a new level of legitimacy—and I started getting calls. 

On a simple level, business cards serve a specific need: they help you identify yourself to a potential contact. But they also make your professional life feel real, even if you're currently faking it until you make it. {click to tweet} And that's the heart of it: even though I felt like my career had hit a dead end, ordering those cards made me feel like I'd done something about it, and that I was gonna be OK.

25 OTHER TIMES BUSINESS CARDS RULE

Just to drive the point home, here are some other times carrying cards can actually work out for you:

  1. At any networking event ever.
  2. When you’ve got a side hustle going and you’re your own marketing department.
  3. Or you've got several side hustles going, and you don't have cards for each of them.
  4. You’re at a Girls Night Out and you meet a woman you’d like to know better.
  5. Time to mail a package from your Etsy store? Drop it in the box with your “Thank You” note.
  6. You hate your current job, and you’re trying to find a new one.
  7. Or maybe your current job title doesn’t match what you want to do. Like, at all.
  8. You want people to visit your personal site because it looks so good.
  9. You’re at an interview, meet yet another person, and—realize you’ve run out of copies of your resume.   
  10. You’re like ‘This dude’s cute,’ but you’re afraid he might not be interested, or you’re just afraid to ask him to coffee. Keep it pseudo-profesh.
  11. You know no one spells your last name correctly ever. Just hand it to them.
  12. At a dinner party when you’re trying to explain to the person next to you WTF you actually do.
  13. You’re hesitating on when to launch your entrepreneurial venture. You’ll never be completely “ready.” Business cards make it official.
  14. Are you a designer or branding professional? Your business card is a tangible example of your aesthetic and skills.
  15. If your company name or website address is hard to remember.
  16. To drop into the fish bowl at your neighborhood Thai restaurant for a free lunch entry.
  17. There’s something in your teeth, but you don’t have floss. Card corners work wonders.
  18. When you’re somewhere loud and the person you meet can’t hear what your name is.
  19. When someone else gives you theirs. It’s weird to not respond in kind.
  20. When you’re traveling. Slip it into your baggage tag.
  21. When you don’t want to give someone your number. A card with just an email address is a stealth cop out.
  22. When your coworker isn’t at her desk and you want her to know you’ve stopped by. Calling card.
  23. When you’re looking at a chair at a yard sale, and they won’t go as low as you want. Ask them to email you if they change their mind.
  24. At Sephora, when the clerk asks for the email address on your account.
  25. When you just need something to write on.

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What's another time you found you needed a business card? 

This post was sponsored by MOO, who helped us out with some brand new business cards. We like their new Tailored Collection (because I mean, gold). All opinions are strictly our own.