Is Networking Working Against You?


by Stephanie Berenbaum – June 20th, 2012

Don’t Schmooze Yourself Out of Your Next Job

In this economy, we all know how crucial networking is to getting a job.  So, it makes it even more important to do it right!  Check out these networking no-nos to make sure YOU are not a networking offender:

The Facebook Stalker

You just met a potential business contact at a networking event – do you friend them on Facebook?  No!  It’s acceptable to try to connect with them on LinkedIn – which is a dedicated business network – but leave the “friending” for people you are actually friends with.

OMG -TY!

I know at age 40 I might be a little behind on the times.  But seriously, if you end up having a networking meeting with someone, please don’t TEXT them after to say thank you, or even worse, “TY.”  I know in 2012 writing an actual letter may be passe, but certainly writing a proper email – with words actually spelled out – is far superior to a text.

The Assumer

Really, is there anything worse than an over-eager assumer?  Let me share one recent violation with you…  Our friend Kelly is a producer on a successful TV show.  The other day at her Pilates class – the one place she goes to de-stress – an acquaintance from the class – we’ll call her Jane – approached her…

Ruining Kelly’s post-workout Zen, Jane made her ill-conceived networking move.  She told Kelly that she was desperate to leave her job as a lawyer and become a writer –AND then told Kelly she was going to email her a few of her sitcom pilots to read!  Notice I used the word TOLD.  That’s right, because Jane didn’t even ask.  This demonstrates not only a general cluelessness about human interaction, but also a total disrespect for Kelly’s time.  Want to bet Kelly is on the hunt for a new Pilates studio?

The Monopolizer

This no-no is true of any social situation, but is especially egregious at a networking event.  DO NOT monopolize anyone’s time – it will have the exact opposite effect you are hoping for.  Yes, we all know how brilliant and witty you are, and we’re sure your intended networking target does too.  But monopolizing their time shows a streak of self-centeredness and disrespect for those around you that is likely to get you noticed – in the wrong way.

 

Networking Know-How

The bottom line? After more than 20 years in the workforce, there’s one thing I’ve seen time and time again: people tend to hire people who they actually think they would enjoy spending large amounts of time with.  Think of networking as giving potential employers a snippet of what it would be like to be with you – all the time…

Most people we know would not want to hire someone who is pushy, self-centered, clueless and rude.  So make sure you’re not a networking offender – it could make the difference in getting your next job.  And while writing this article did make me feel like a bit of an old fuddy-duddy, we’re pretty sure having manners hasn’t gone out of style – yet!

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