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The Do’s and Don’ts Of Networking

Posted on the 28 March 2013 by Ncrimaldi @MsCareerGirl
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Networking can be really tough. After taking a six-month hiatus away from most organized networking events, I’ve got back into the swing of things in the last month. Initially, I was a little rusty. Like any skill, if you don’t use networking, you lose it. I learned a great deal of networking in undergrad business seminar classes designed to give students the knowledge and tools needed for networking and business etiquette.

When I moved to Chicago, I learned even more from the original Ms. Career Girl herself, Nicole Crimaldi Emerick. So, while I don’t claim to be an expert on networking, I’ve learned a thing or two and I think we could all use reminders and refreshers when it comes to this very important skill.

  1. Do prepare a short and sweet bio of yourself, your work, and what you hope to gain from the networking event.
  2. Do come with business cards or some sort of tangible information that contains your contact information.
  3. Do show an interest in getting to know other people’s work, industry, and ask them good questions.
  4. Do try to come on time and if that is not feasible, draw as little attention to yourself as possible.
  5. Do follow-up with people you made a connection with within 48 hours.
  6. Do not sit or stand by a corner and wait for people to come and talk to you. Networking is uncomfortable at first – get out of your comfort zone.
  7. Do not think that you will make a connection with everyone. You will not. Learn to separate potential professional connections from people it was nice to speak with.
  8. Do not talk about yourself and your career the entire time.
  9. Do not eat too much or drink too much.
  10. Do not get too personal when networking; leave your crazy at the door.

So many rules! I know, I know, but if you want to make the most of networking, present yourself in a positive light, and be genuine and cordial with everyone you meet . In this way, networking rules are pretty similar to life rules.

What are your do’s and don’ts of networking?

Tagged as: business contacts, business etiquette, dos and donts, how to network, meeting people, networking, networking rues

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