You no doubt have heard about the phrase ‘your network is your net worth’. Everyone everywhere is talking about the importance of networking. Why you should stop hiding indoors all year, the need to go out and create new networks etc. And it’s not just hype. It’s indeed important to have a rich network because after all, that’s how you get to grow. It’s how you get to meet new clients, prospects, business partners or even someone who could possibly lead you to your dream job. It’s that important, huh!
So you had probably promised yourself that 2020 would be the year to create a worthwhile network but then Covid-19 happened and we were all forced to stay at home. You can still do it now that things are slowly getting back to normal in most countries. And when you finally get to do it, you will be wiser because we are about to enlighten you on some of the big mistakes that people make when networking.
For success in networking, you will want to try as much as possible to avoid these mistakes:
Only networking with those in higher ranks
It’s okay to network in people who are above you in career and who have huge businesses when you are only a start up. However, never look down on those at your level and those below you. Interact with them, get to know what they are up to and the challenges they are going through. You will be surprised at how much you can learn from them. These are also the people who can hint to you if there is a vacancy at their place of work and what qualifications you need if you are looking for a job.
Talking without listening
When you go out to network, are you always the person demanding for attention? While you might want to pitch to prospects or market your business, also make sure you listen to others. Very few people would want to keep you as a network if all you do is talk about yourself without venturing into meaningful and helpful conversations for both parties.
You only network when you need something
Don’t wait until you lose your to start networking. Instead, keep on meeting people and creating worthwhile relations throughout your career. That way, even if you are looking into changing careers or want to start a business, you will already have in mind who to talk to if you need help with something.
Asking for favours too soon
Even if you badly need a job, don’t come out as desperate by asking for a job, connections or referrals before you even get to know the person you are talking to better. It makes it seem like you are only connecting with them simply because you needed a favour. Take your time to interact with them, exchange ideas, offer helpful suggestions and avoid rushing to ask for too much too soon.
Not following up
This is one of the most common networking mistakes that people tend to make. If you network with so many but fail to keep tabs, then it’s all but a waste of your precious time. Once you meet those new people and exchange contacts, follow up even if it’s a few weeks after. Whether you will be just saying hello or wishing them happy holidays, it’s way better than when you just keep silent and people forget about you.
All the best as you create worthwhile networks.