With the basics of networking and the elevator speech ready to go, let’s keep in mind what WE SHOULD NOT DO while networking.
NETWORKING IS NOT A ONE-TIME THING: Networking isn’t that one event or career fair you attend once to find the job. It is about exploring and building bridges, trust and respect continuously over a period of time with people who could mentor you through your career or who are in the field that you are potentially interested in exploring. The more time you invest, the more returns you will reap
DON’T OVERSELL YOURSELF: You have the elevator speech ready to roll. Be prepared and be assertive, but don’t be overbearing. People are not shopping for employees at networking events, they are there to meet people.
DON’T REACT, RESPOND: An important skill while networking is to LISTEN. Listen carefully, take a few seconds before you respond to a question or to put your point across.
DON’T BE UNENTHUSIATIC OR NEGATIVE: Nobody wants to listen to you whining or moaning about not being able to find a job or your current crisis. Leave the baggage of problems at home and keep in mind what makes you passionate. Put a smile on and be positive, and the right people will come your way.
DON’T BE ROOTED TO A FAMILIAR CROWD: You came with a friend or with colleagues, but it doesn’t mean you need to hang out only with them. Reconnect with familiar faces, but challenge yourself to speak to at least 2-3 new people at each event.
DON’T HAVE EXPECTATIONS: Networking takes a lot of effort and sometimes it will take long time before networking can actually land you a job. Don’t be disappointed or lose hope. Work on building relations, enjoy and do your best. Expectations can lead to disappointments.
NETWORKING IS NOT A ONE-WAY STREET: Don’t network only when you need help. Offer to help others when an opportunity is available. If you know of two people who can be helped by you building the bridge, be generous. What goes around, comes around.
Posted on behalf of the author Dr. Sudha Savant, PhD.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
I am a graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology doing research in the field of cancer epigenetics and drug development.