So, you shouldn’t network if. What? Now I’m telling you not to network? Hold the presses. This blog has an entire category dedicated to networking and social media. In it I promote networking. I share proven networking strategies. The blog is pro-networking for goodness sake. And now I’m telling you not to network? What gives? I’m not telling you not to network; I’m telling you when you shouldn’t network.
You Shouldn’t Network if…
When to stay away from the fray. There are times, places, and situations where networking should be the last thing on your mind, but too often folks disregard the signals and forge ahead often making them look inconsiderate and out of touch.
At inappropriate events
I was approached at a funeral about job prospects at my employer. It included an extended elevator pitch. Really? Although there may be a time at such an event to briefly inquire and exchange information, this wasn’t the time, place, or strategy to land a job. Before networking at a non-networking event ask yourself—is it appropriate?
If you’re seriously sick
I don’t care how important a conference or networking meet-up is. If you’re ill and contagious—stay home. It’s the considerate thing to do. Do you want to be remembered as the person who was coughing and sneezing and spreading germs?
If you’re grumpy, depressed, or irritable
Effective networking takes a positive state of mind. In some circles, I’m thought to be Mr. Positive. My very close friends know that’s not always the case; there are times I should not be around people…or cats. If your head isn’t in the game, don’t take the first pitch.
If you hate networking
The best answer for this is to get over it, but until you do, if you dislike networking it will show—so don’t go. If you can’t find one thing to focus on at an event that you like and appreciate, please give your ticket to another.
And Be Ready for Another Day
I believe in the power of networking; I’ve made friendships and connections I would never have found without a networking opportunity. If you read this blog, you know I extol give-first or help networking. Networking is so much easier when you’re focused on helping others, but even so, there are times and places I don’t or won’t network. Before you make an inappropriate networking mistake stop and ask yourself, is this the right time, place, and person? Am I being considerate? How do you want to be remembered?
Are You a Good Networker?
I’d always considered myself an effective networker. I’m friendly, easy to talk to, and I’ve never met a stranger. However, none of that makes me a good networker – it makes me outgoing. If I wanted to be the most effective networker I could be, I needed a plan. That’s how my networking workbook, Help Networking started.
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