Networking is a vital part of business. Whether you are trying to find new customers or make connections with colleagues, it is a component of success that you better get right if you are trying to climb the corporate ladder.
Successful networking is more than handing out your business card and shaking a few hands, though. According to recent studies, chances are you are making some crucial networking mistakes so look through my list and see if you need to make adjustments before your next conference or business after hours.
1. You are not giving it a chance
Many people do not even try to network because they do not consider themselves a “people person.” But chances are you are already making contacts whether through social media or work, so you might as well drop that excuse.
2. You think it is only good for interviews
A lot of people think networking only makes sense when you are looking for a new job at a new company, but that is just not true. Making relationships and contacts help improve your reputation in your industry because the more people that know you, the more people that hear about your work ethic (good or bad!)
3. You believe it is a distraction
It is true that networking takes up both time and money, but that is an investment into your career that you should be more than willing to make when you consider the possible benefits you could reap from making just one solid contact.
4. You say you are too introverted
I get this one, trust me. It can be intimidating to put yourself out there especially at overcrowded conferences. But keep in mind that everyone else is probably feeling the same way but you all come with the same purpose: to make contacts!
5. Your nose is stuck in the air
If you think you should only be networking with the “big dogs”, you are doing it all wrong. There is no such thing as an insignificant contact in business because you have no idea when it may come in extremely handy to know someone. So, do not be a snob.
6. You think you do not know anyone
If you are depressed because you think your Rolodex is lacking, chances are you are dead wrong. Your sphere of influence is much larger than you think. Don’t believe me? Sit down and make a diagram with you in the center, then branch out from there starting with your family and friends and continue making branches to people you know through them. Your list is likely much bigger than you think.
Read also – 7 Career Struggles Women Face Today
7. You put too much pressure on yourself
If you think you have to perform to be good at networking, take a deep breath. It is not necessary to impress the entire room to make a good contact. Simply being genuine, warm, and friendly makes the biggest impression in a sea of superficial people. Leave them with a smile on their face and they won’t forget you anytime soon.
Networking does not have to be stressful, but it does need to be happening in your business life so make sure that you are not making one of these seven networking mistakes. Happy networking, ladies.