We might not like it (most of us anyway) but networking is a crucial part of the working world. Cosying on up to the boss at an after work event could be the difference between them remembering your name at the next salary review, or not.
There’s a lot of scope for making a fool of yourself though. So whatever you do, don’t mess up by committing any of these networking cardinal sins.
1. One friend wonder
The key to maximising your networking potential at an event is to talk to the largest amount of people possible.
Obviously don’t walk round the entire room giving the same spiel to each attendant. That doesn’t go down too well, as you’ll see in the video at the bottom of this article.
2. No Face to face
It’s tempting – with the digital advent of sites like LinkedIn – to try and do networking all online so you don’t have to actually go anywhere. This is a big mistake.
The power of face-to-face communication is nowhere more apparent than in building human relationships with other people. You’re far more likely to find something in common with your next potential business partner if you get out to a networking evening two or three times a fortnight. So don’t neglect it!
3. The Un-Professionals
Sure you want to seem friendly and approachable to everyone, no one likes a closed off colleague do they?
But there’s a big risk of lacking professionality in these situations, so don;t go mad and ask the person you just met to go out for your birthday next week. Newsflash: It’ll freak them out! And make you look silly.
4. Not playing the waiting game
Patience is a virtue, or so we’re told. But in the networking world, it really is!
Don’t expect all the effort you put into building up your work profile to pay off immediately.
You might not need that contact in recruitment until a few months down the line, maybe even a year. But when you do, it’ll be so much easier to pick up the phone to that person, and the conversation will be that much simpler than if you hadn’t made any effort in the first place.
5. Not following through
It’s easy to think that the work ends once you’ve finished your complimentary glass of Prosecco, but it doesn’t, trust us.
You’ve got their contact details, so use them! The next morning spend fifteen minutes (that’s all it takes) emailing a few key people you met the evening before saying how nice it was to chat with them, and that you look forward to working together in the future.
It’s cheesy, but being a nice person really helps.
Still worried about looking like a muppet at a networking event? Watch this video from Careerealism TV and start taking notes…