Pulse: At Your Service: Life Goes On

We asked local etiquette expert Gail Madison (who also offers job - seekers one - on - one consulting) how to handle the sometimes - awkward social aspects of joblessness

Dating: “It can’t be all about you all the time. Don’t get into the ‘poor me’ conversations. You have to keep a positive attitude. You’re just as capable as you were yesterday. People who are confident and powerful are attractive.”

Going to parties: “Don’t give out business cards in front of your host or hostess. That’s offensive. You can always pull someone aside to hand them a card privately. And don’t talk too much about business. In fact, the more we are quiet and listen to others and ask questions, the better relationship – building happens. Opportunities might come out sooner than if you’re the one doing all the talking.”

Gift – giving: “Make something. Bake something. Or offer to do something for someone that they might not have time to do.”

The day – to – day: “You never know who you’re going to run into. I wear a suit to the grocery store, and they open lines for me because they think I’m important. You don’t have to wear a suit, but at least wear something that says ‘I am still a professional.’”

The Madison School of Etiquette and Protocol, 215-938-1178, etiquetteconsult.com.