This article is a follow-up to the first article which covered the same topic of networking. The first article discussed basic information about networking, but this article will discuss mistakes that people make when they network.
It is a mistake to not recognize or to be unprepared for unexpected networking opportunities. Those who want to network well should make an attempt to attend events that will present good opportunities to network. They also, however, should be prepared to network when unexpected opportunities present themselves. Everyone should have a smooth elevator speech ready for such opportunities, which often are brief in duration. Having such a speech will require that they have a clear idea of the direction in which they want to move their careers.
Networking, however, can be counterproductive. Those who are networking will not make good impressions if they are not at least somewhat knowledgeable about what is happening in the field in which they are seeking a job. Internet research can help. Information gained from networking probably will be even more current than internet information.
Those who want to network well must be concerned with more than how many professional cards they can exchange. The quality of their contacts also is important. The impressions made will not be positive ones when those who are networking are constantly looking over the shoulders of the people with whom they are networking. Conversely, networking should be mainly about opportunities for the exchange of professional information, and too much personal conversation is a waste of time at networking events.
Those who are networking must make good impressions. Being dressed appropriately and acting professionally are both important. Looking professional on social media sites such as LinkedIn also is important. Even professional sounding email addresses and voicemail greetings are important ways to make positive impressions.
Networking is a give and take interaction. Having something to give, like information or a job lead is helpful. Whenever those who are networking receive valuable information or a job lead, they should make sure to thank he person who gave them the valuable information or job lead.
Networking is a valuable career technique. If not done correctly, however, it can lead to no job leads and to others having bad impressions of those who are networking, and that can be worse than not networking at all.
What have been your experiences with networking? Please comment below.