Struggling to network after lockdown? We’ve got you covered
2 December 2021 at 2:27 pm
Here we share four easy networking mistakes you should avoid
Emerging out of lockdown and back into a kind of normality means mixers and networking events are coming back too.
But after a pretty weird two years, feeling a bit nervous about getting back into (or starting completely new in) the networking game, is completely understandable.
It’s why we’ve rounded up some of the most avoidable networking mistakes out there to help give you the tools to network your way into your dream job.
Mistake #1: Creating a bad first impression
Within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, they will form a solid impression of who you are. This means that when you turn up to a networking event, it’s important you’re ahead of the game by doing things like dressing for the occasion (don’t rock up in shorts if it’s a corporate drinks night), being polite and friendly, and not having any expectations of where conversations might take you.
Mistake #2: Not knowing what you’re talking about
Doing a little research about the event you’re going to and the people who are going to be there will help you have more meaningful conversations and make better connections with the people there. This doesn’t mean you need to go overboard, but investing the time will mean you won’t feel so out of your depth when people start talking about a topic you might not be so familiar with.
Mistake #3: Only speaking to people you know
Walking into a room full of people you don’t know can be overwhelming, so it’s only natural that if you spot someone you do know, you want to stick to them like blu tack for the rest of the night. But sticking with the people you already know isn’t why you’ve gone to a networking event.
There’s nothing bad about easing yourself into it though. Try teaming up and introducing yourself to a new person, with the person you do know by your side, or set a challenge of handing out three business cards to new people before meeting back up with the person you do know.
Mistake #4: Failing to follow up
Having a nice chat over a glass of wine or a coffee is one thing, but if you fail to follow up, it pretty much renders all your hard work pointless. Make sure you get their contact details and send them an email or a message on LinkedIn within the next couple of days so that you stick in their memory for future opportunities or specific projects you’re working on.