Networking is a great way to find a job if it is done right. If no planning goes into networking, it may not be effective at all. This can result in missing the job opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Avoiding a few common networking mistakes will increase your chances of growing your career through networking.
What Makes Networking Work?
What does the word ‘networking’ make you think of? Handing out business cards at a career event? That is a networking activity, but it won’t have much power without a solid plan behind it and several other networking activities beside it.
Planning and taking action on your plan makes networking work. Learn to make a professional networking plan here.
3 Networking Mistakes to Avoid
The main networking mistake you can make is to fail to create a networking plan. Here are a few other networking mistakes to avoid:
1) Not researching and attending career events in your area — Showing up to one or two career events per month that you hear about in passing will not put a dent in your networking goals. To get the results you want, don’t make the mistake of failing to regularly research events in your area that you could network at.
“In cities large and small, events happen on a weekly basis. With this huge barrage of possibilities, you need to focus on your business goals and attend the events that support those goals,” stated Forbes.
2) Asking for favors too quickly — It’s important to remember that it’s inappropriate to ask for favors too quickly from a new career contact. Give your fledgling relationship a few weeks to grow before you ask for what you want. Instead, ask yourself what you can give to the other person. Eventually you will be able to ask your networking contact for a favor, but doing so too soon can be counterproductive.
3) Not following up with people — It’s great to make a connection with someone and add them to your professional network. However, if you don’t follow up with that person, they may eventually forget you.
A best practice for networking is to follow up with someone within one or two days of meeting them. “Let them know what a pleasure it was to meet and that you would love to continue the conversation at a later date. That next conversation may take place a few months in the future, but following up immediately will make all the difference,” wrote a contributor to Recruiter.com.
Networking Is an Art
Networking really is an art. It takes research and practice to perfect it. If you do make networking mistakes on your career journey (and we all do), quickly forgive yourself and do better the next time.
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