Networking is an area that divides people: you’re either a social butterfly who loves to meet new people or a caterpillar who would rather curl up in a cocoon at the thought. Even for the latter group, it can play an important role in promoting your business or your personal qualifications and could open doors to future job prospects that may otherwise be unattainable. So how do you go getting the most out of networking? We’re here to tell you what to avoid with the networking mistakes you may be making.
This may seem obvious, but simply not making an effort to turn up is a massive mistake. Not every networking event is going to result in success but the one you miss could have led to a fantastic opportunity or helped you to meet someone in a key field that your company would love to know. If you turn up and leave after deciding that the occasion will not be beneficial that is a better option than not attending full stop. You’ll never know if you don’t go.
Give a little bit, give a little bit of your love…
Networking goes both ways and you can’t expect to just turn up and have everyone listen to what you have to say without hearing about their background or thoughts. Don’t turn it into a one-man show or you’ll get a reputation for being full of yourself and not a team-player. Instead, ask questions about the person or people you are talking to and express a genuine interest in what they have to say.
Death of a Salesman
Yes networking may lead to future benefits for your business or you, but a networking event itself is not the time to try and up your sales and tie people to times and dates for meetings. This is one of the networking mistakes you may be making. Treat them as a friendly opportunity to actually get to know people instead of seeing a big pound sign above their heads. Focus on establishing good relationships first and if anything happens at a later date because you are on good terms think of it as a bonus.
Grey goose makes you loose, Patron makes you gone
Networking may be a chance to make acquaintances or even lifelong friends as we mentioned above, and many times they will take place in a bar, but this doesn’t mean you need to end up dancing on it. Especially for a first-time event, getting off your trolley and ending up taking a shopping trolley home isn’t a good look. At best people may just think you can’t hold your liquor and at worst they will see your antics as inappropriate and cringey and avoid you like the plague. You don’t have to stay stone-cold-sober, but stay sensible.
I’m looking at the man in the mirror
Nobody likes to feel ignored and if the person you’re talking to can see that your eyes are looking past them for a more interesting partner or even at your own reflection then they will be rightly offended and annoyed. Even if you happen to get chatting to the human equivalent of nails on a chalkboard always be courteous! You can always make your polite excuses when they have finished talking but don’t run for the furthest corner when you leave. You will meet a variety of people while networking and not everyone will be to your tastes but such is life and it is better to be on the good-side of everyone than on the wrong-side of someone.
Be a thanker, not a……
Lastly, make sure you thank the people hosting the event! Some poor soul has had the task of setting this opportunity up so you can meet new people and potentially boost your social circle and career prospects and they deserve a thank-you. If you can’t meet the hosts in person at the event a tweet thanking the company responsible will do!
Want to know more job mistakes that you should be avoiding? Read our top tips on The Top Things You Shouldn’t Say In An Interview!