Whether a publicist asks you to take a cycling class with her or you’re looking for a fresh way to get to know your colleagues a little better, sweatworking (or networking while working out) is definitely becoming a thing in the mag biz.
And while crushing your workout and bonding with colleagues or publicists is a fun way to multitask, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Before you ask your co-worker out to a boot camp class or accept an invite to a dance class with a PR rep, learn how to make sweaty networking work (or shall we say, “twerk?’) for you.
Step 1: Use Exercise as Small-Talk Bait
Fitness is part of many people’s routines, especially in a New York City where there’s so many unique studios. So exercise can be a great conversation starter with your colleagues at a new job, with editors or fellow assistants at an Ed2010 networking event, or even that editor in your office who you’ve been wanting to get to know a little better.
Just throw out the fact that you’re looking for a new class or wanting to take advantage of your corporate gym membership to assess that person’s level of interest.
Step 2: Use Your Sweat Etiquette
Once you’ve agreed on a workout or class, offer to book it for the two of you. But if you’re going with a publicist, she’ll take care of that part for you. The day before the workout, double check with your workout buddy that you’re still on. Sometimes things come up. On the day of, be sure to arrive 15 minutes early so you can sign in, put your stuff away, and get set up for the workout.
Step 3: Follow Networking Protocol
While the gym is more of a casual setting than a coffee shop or your cube, you should try to maintain a level of professionalism when sweatworking. While you might be dripping buckets, keep the conversation clean and avoid bringing up body insecurities, which can get awkward.
And, as with all networking dates, don’t spend the entire class venting about work. You’re exercising, so you shouldn’t be able to talk that much anyway. Plus, constant chatter annoys the people around you (including the person you’re with).
Step 4: Ask Them Out for a Healthy Dinner
Once the fitness class is over and your endorphins are pumping, try to assess whether the other person wants to grab a smoothie or a quick, casual dinner. That will give you some time to discuss the class, work, and get to know her a bit better—all while riding that endorphin high. If they’re game, suggest somewhere nearby. If not, follow up with them in the coming weeks about hanging out again.