Avoid These Networking No-No’s
Most of us know the importance of networking for our career success. Becoming skilled at handling networking events and strategies with finesse can be a valuable professional asset. On the other hand, there are some networking offenses that can reflect negatively on you and make you look unprofessional.
One I would warn against: becoming what PR pro Peter Shankman refers to as a “business card ninja,” where you arrive at an event and immediately start whipping business cards at anyone who comes within firing range, forcing them to retreat for cover.
This article reviews a few other networking sins you should avoid. One big offense: hitting the other person up for something right off the bat. Networking, ideally, should be about making connections, not taking people for whatever you can get out of them.
Along the same lines, avoid making it all about you. Try to figure out something you can offer the other person. Or simply have a nice exchange of ideas that will interest both of you.
Anything that borders at all into obnoxious territory should also be avoided at all costs. This includes bombarding someone with requests, using their name without asking first or hounding them online to the point where you are becoming a stalker.
Needless to say, you should also hold up your end of the bargain. If the contact needs something you can help with, you should always offer to do whatever you can.
What networking pitfalls have you observed? Share your story in the comments.
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