Common Networking Mistakes

Building up a professional network is essential to professional success. Careers can be built and damaged by one’s network. Therefore, take all the care and attention you need when you are building your professional network through the years. There is a right way and the wrong way of building your professional network. Here are the common mistakes you should avoid.

Coming Unprepared
Different situations can be an opportunity to build your professional network. That is why you always need to be ready. Whether you are starting a business or starting out on a new job, the situation will present itself for you to know other people in your industry or line of work. You always need to come prepared how to engage with people and build your network. Do your homework in knowing about the people you will be meeting at a meeting or conference. Have your sales pitch or introductory story well memorized. Always keep them handy and ready for use when needed. Many missed opportunities come as a result of lack of preparation to make a good impression.

Being Over Aggressive
In an effort to build a professional network quickly, some people try to take the aggressive approach. They try to meet up with as many people as possible to include in their network instead of just focusing on trying to know each one better. Always remember that a good professional network is based on the quality of connections not the quantity. How you are able to build up a relationship with each one is what makes them valuable. Instead of being too aggressive, try to focus on each part of your network by getting to know them better. Try to establish a relationship instead of just having a list of names of people you know.

Focusing On VIP’s
Some people make the mistake of building a network composed of bigwigs and VIP’s in the business or industry. Although that is not bad in itself, focusing only on building such a network can also be a very big mistake. Neglecting those people who are not as high up or well known as us can also lead to missed opportunities. Instead of focusing on VIP’s, try to strike up a balance by trying to discover people who are interesting or who can provide useful information. It makes a professional network even more useful and valuable if you can strike up a perfect balance of meaningful people from different walks of the industry you are in.

Trying Too Hard
Trying to make a good impression is important when trying to establish a professional network. However, trying too hard at the task can be a grave mistake. In an effort to make a striking impression, some people may already appear fake and artificial. People will easily see through you if you are trying too hard to impress them. If they discover that it is not genuine, then they will not be taking you too seriously.

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