No one ever said networking was easy. You have to pick which events you attend carefully. You have to be on your A game while meeting a bunch of new people who could be potential clients, service providers and even friends.
But are you following the “rules” of networking? If not, you could be doing more harm than good.
Monster.com tackled this very topic in a recent article titled “Is Your Network Helping or Hurting Your Career?” Here are a few highlights from the article:
Don’t get in the habit of only networking with people who do what you do. These people are less likely to help you propel your career forward. Some may even be tempted to actively work against you if you both happen to be job hunting. Diversity is key to gleaning the most out of the experience. Check out a marketing mixer if you’re in sales, or an SEO meetup if you’re into blogging. You never know when an opportunity may arise.
Don’t wait to engage your network until you really, really need them. You may start to sound like a broken record or a bit desperate if you’re simply using the people around you to land a new job or that next business prospect. You might be seen as a constant taker with nothing to give in return. Be proactive and join a professional organization NOW so you can start building those relationships.
Quantity does not equal quantity. Just because you have 1,000 followers on Twitter and business cards falling out of your desk drawer, it doesn’t mean you’re a successful networker. What’s important is that you have solid relationships with a circle of people — and that you continue to nurture those relationships. Get to know them and find out what they could benefit from first.
What other tips would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments section.
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