Getting Ahead In Life With (Proper) Networking

David Blog
by David Blog
Sep 12, 2019 发布于 5:14 PM

As you know, networking is one of the strongest and most important tools in life you can use to get ahead. However, not many people know that there are a lot of networking mistakes that can harm their progress, and are unknowingly doing it! Here are some of the mistakes and how to fix them!

 

  1. Talking too much about yourself

  • Yes, you are talented! Eager! Ambitious! You have lots of ideas to share! And you want to make sure that every person you meet knows who you are and what you do!

  • It is understandable. And yes, sharing your story with new contacts is important. But sharing too much about yourself will actually be negative for you.

  •  Nothing can annoy a person more than an aspiring professional who takes no interest in anything other than their own ambitions.

  • Think about it, do you like talking to people who ALWAYS talk about themselves? 

 

         How To Fix:

       Take Some Interest. 

  • Stop highlighting your latest accomplishment and start listening instead. 

  • Find people with industries or careers of interest to you, and ask them questions:

    •  How did they get their start? 

    • What do they love about their jobs, and what do they wish they could change? 

  • By taking an interest in your contact, you will make them feel valued—and hopefully interested in continuing the relationship. 

  • You would most likely learn some new things along the way as well!

 

 

  1. Expecting a job

  • You’re looking for a new job, so you go out and network every time you can, asking every person you meet to help you find your new career path—after all, it’s not what you know, it’s who.

  • That is definitely true, but don’t forget to give people some credit:

    •  If you pursue networking opportunities purely for the job prospects, your contacts will figure you out. 

    • You will leave them feeling used, and they will be less likely to recommend you for an opportunity.

  • Think about it, if you have a friend who only looks for you when they want something from you, do you like it?

 

      How To Fix:

      Provide Some Value

  • If you’re looking for a job, don’t ask for it—work for it.

  •  Do some research into what your contact does both in and out of work and find ways that you can contribute your time or support. 

  • Perhaps you could volunteer your knowledge in marketing for the big convention they’re organizing, or offer your accounting knowledge for their non-profit. 

  • Provide some opportunity for contacts to see you in a working light, and you’ll be that much closer to a good referral.

  • Again, if you have a friend who always help you out, and they ask you for help, wouldn’t you be more willing to do so?

 

 

  1. Not saying thank you

  • You attended a large event last week and had coffee with one of your new professional contacts afterward.

  •  Then—the week got busy, and you didn’t get around to saying thank you. They’ll understand, right? Maybe. 

  • But if you don’t show gratitude, even in the smallest (or largest) event, you risk leaving a negative impression—probably not the outcome you want from your meeting.

 

        How To Fix:

      Just Do It.

  •  Set yourself a reminder to send off a quick note, or just insert a quick “thanks for taking time to meet with me!” it will leave a good impression.

  • Even at the final handshake, you must say thank you. 

  • Not only will you solidify your reputation as a courteous individual, but you won’t be leaving your contacts with a bad taste in their mouths. 

  • Always say thank you, and your good impression will last until your next meeting.

 

 

  1. Forgetting to follow up

  • You meet someone over a networking happy hour and tell them you will send them your portfolio. 

  • But as the night goes on, they have a few drinks and meet more people. 

  • You’re sure they have forgotten all about you, so you decide it’s not even worth emailing them the next day. Bad idea. 

  • Meeting someone is just the first step in networking. In order to forge a lasting relationship (and make sure people don’t forget you), you need to follow up, every single time.

 

       The Fix:

       Stay Accountable. 

  • If you told a networking contact that you would do something, do it. 

  • Even if you’re not sure she remembers you, you can bet that they will be grateful that you took the time out of your day to send them what you had discussed.

  •  If you’re worried about forgetting, keep a pen near your business card holder to quickly write out what follow-up actions you have for that contact, and review your cards after the event.

 

Above all, keep in mind that networking isn’t about short-term gain, but about learning, growing, and forming connections. Adopt good social habits, and you’ll see your skills and comfort improve, your opportunities increase, and your relationships grow—for the long haul.  Building long lasting friendships with people in the right places, and you are confirmed to go far in life!