Even though networking is the best way to land a job or make any other type of career move, still some people get it wrong. There’s a reason that some people soar with networking while others fall flat.
Review this list to make sure that you are not committing deadly mistakes that could cost you networking success:
1) Only looking for what you can get. Networking, whether it’s in person or online, should be a two-way street. As you network you should look for ways to be helpful to the people that you are networking with, not simply focus on how others can help you.
2) Not cultivating relationships. Relationships have to be nurtured. You can’t meet someone today and expect that by tomorrow that person will be bending over backward to help you reach your career goals. Relationships take time, but they are worth the effort.
3) Not staying in touch. Some people make the mistake of networking furiously when they are job searching and then dropping those networking contacts like hot potatoes once they land a new position. Since networking contacts can help you throughout the course of your career, you should periodically touch base with your contacts, not because you need anything, but just because you want to maintain those relationships.
4) Not growing your network. To be effective in your networking efforts, you have to move beyond the people that you already know and start branching out to people who may be second and third level contacts. Make sure to ask for referrals from your first level contacts so that your network is dynamic, not static.
5) Not targeting your networking efforts. With the advent of social networking and sites like LinkedIn, it is easy to rack up a large amount of networking contacts, but if you are not judicious in accumulating networking contacts, you can end up with a huge network of contacts who are not useful to you. You should focus on contacts who are in your field because these are the people who can help you most when you are ready to make a career move.
6) Over-relying on virtual relationships. Even though connecting with people on social networking sites is highly recommended, it cannot replace in person relationships. Not only should you foster your in person relationships by going out to lunch with contacts and periodically touching base by phone, but you should also strengthen your virtual relationships by turning them into in person relationships through geographically based meetings, using sites like Twtvite and http://tweetup.meetup.com.
7) Not networking at all. Some people do not network because they feel uncomfortable with it, and in some cases, they feel that they can go it alone. But especially in a tough economy, networking contacts can make the difference between employment and unemployment.
For professional assistance with fine tuning your networking efforts, call 877-743-9521 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with a certified executive career coach.