Networking Habits So Bad They’re Scary

October 25, 2011 by Careerminds

Jennifer Fry
Careerminds Consultant


In recognition of the upcoming Halloween holiday, we’d like to offer some examples of networking habits that real professionals use in real networking events that are down-right horrifying. These tactics will most definitely not do much for you, the job seeker, and they may very well scare off any opportunities or connections that could otherwise make your career transition easier.

  1. Forgetting the little things: Arriving late, disregarding the importance of a good handshake, drinking too much—certainly, you’re expected to enjoy your experience at networking events, but they are not casual parties. You can be friendly and personable without coming off unprofessional.
  2. Business only: Networkers who focus only on selling themselves, their company or their company’s products/services will find that they’ve made no connections, only a lot of sales pitches. Effective networking takes time—you can’t expect to magically conjure up a network the moment you need it—and putting off the business talk for just a moment will help build rapport and trust with the other professionals you meet.
  3. Quantity over quality: Come in with a stack of business cards and start handing them out to everyone in sight—that’s networking, right? Wrong. While monopolizing one person’s time is not recommended, either, neglecting to have any substantial interaction with people will not result in any real connections. Professionals cannot expect to get anything (i.e.: referrals, advice, etc.) from dealing out business cards like party favors.
  4. All about me: You can’t spell “networking” without “I”, and that’s how these networkers see it. Except networking is a two-way street. You’re there to give as much, if not more than you get.
  5. Keeping the wrong company: You get the event and take a seat at a table with your closest buddies from the office, and in the end, you wonder why you haven’t made any connections. It’s tough to meet new people when you limit your interactions to those with individuals you already know, and while it’s ok to come to an event with a co-worker or a friend, the entire point of attending a networking event is to develop new relationships with a diverse group of people. Try to separate and work the room solo to have the most lucrative experience.
  6. Forgetting the follow-up: Professionals who limit their networking efforts to the events officially designated for them are unlikely to developed many solid relationships. Networking does not end with the mixer. Follow-up is vital to establishing and maintaining reliable connections, and opportunities to make such connections can pop up anywhere at any time.

Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.



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