Vincy Workplace
March 8, 2007

Common on-the-job networking mistakes

Networking is the most effective way to get a job, make connections with different people and have access to information. It’s a process and you must invest the time and effort to get to know the people in your networking circles. Unfortunately, there are some common networking mistakes that can derail your efforts to help your colleagues to get to know you, like you and trust you. Try not to make the following errors.

Asking for special personal favors too early. Wait until your relationship has developed over a long time and you really know this person. Even in that case, be careful about what kind of personal favors you request. In fact, it would be wise to keep the relationship on a professional level and only get personal if both parties seem to show an interest in extending the relationship outside of a purely business realm to include aspects of your personal life.{{more}}

Pretending to know the right people. If you were introduced to an influential person that does not mean you know that person, you were simply introduced and chances are they have already forgotten you. Do not tell the people in your network that you know that person and can get in touch with them.

Connecting only when you have a need. There are individuals whom you may meet and begin a great relationship, however, over time you realize that they are only in touch with you when they have a need. As soon as they obtain what they were in search of they seem to disappear until they want another favor or more information.

Inconsistent follow-up. Networking is all about follow -up. If you are trying to sell a product you must invest a few weeks, months or even years before your network really begins to work for you at optimum speed. If you are looking for a new job or just want to have different expertise at your fingertips be consistent. Have a networking plan and outline ways in which you can stay connected to the people in your network when you do not have a need.

Getting upset when people do not respond immediately. People have busy lives and you are not top of mind in many instances even when you do invest time and energy getting to know someone. Be patient, persistent and remember that the people in your network are not your employees they are volunteers agreeing to help you and vice versa.

• Karen Hinds President/CEO – Workplace Success Group, Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775; Tel: 1-203-757-4103
Creator of The Workplace Success Program (TM)