Avoiding networking mistakes can make a world of difference for you when building a career. This could mean the difference between having many opportunities and not having any at all.
In today’s professional clime, a lot about building your career and job search can get fast-tracked with the amount and quality of information available to you via your network.
As succinctly stated by Robert Kiyosaki: “If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.” Let’s take a quick look at some avoidable career-building networking mistakes you should avoid.
Confusing Professionals in Your Network
Is it possible to confuse professionals in your network without realising it? The answer is yes. This happens when you fail to narrow down what your specific goals are. When this happens, these professionals do not even understand how they can help you because you have not been specific.
When networking, you want to avoid overwhelming and bombarding your network with too many requests around things you want to achieve. This could leave them thinking too broadly on how to be of assistance to you and can have them lost in the loop. Before you reach out to your network, you should be specific on precisely what your professional needs are at that point in time. You should also remember that it’s perfectly okay for your needs to change from time to time as your career progresses.
Zero Personal Branding
Properly investing in your personal brand would simplify your career networking needs and make you more believable. A business card, active social media presence, a blog and many more can help your network verify your credibility and an attestation to the skills you claim to possess. Invest in your personal brand today.
Expecting So Much Too Soon
Don’t be a bug right after you have had an exchange of contacts and gotten a few positive feedback with your networking efforts. Invest in building and maintaining the relationship gained rather than stretching it with constant reminders of your request. Networking is a marathon race, not a sprint – Don’t be short-term minded.
Not Providing Value
Find out how your network can also benefit from you. A symbiotic networking relationship tends to last longer when individuals can benefit from one another in terms of value. Before you walk into your next networking event or strike up a conversation with someone on your network, ensure you are also bringing some form of value to the table.
Final Thoughts on Networking Mistakes
Ensure your expectations are reasonable when dealing with your network. The idea behind having a strong network is not to bug them repeatedly or to abuse the courtesy they have extended to you. Your goal, instead, should be to broaden your network and make enough meaningful connection, which you can benefit from in the future.