As we enter this season of gatherings there will be many opportunities to connect with new people and reconnect with old friends. Those in job transition or on the cusp of a job change are ready to make the most of those connections by putting their best networking foot forward. Making the most of the opportunities means making sure you are not an annoying networker. Here is what an annoying networker looks like.
- Centers the conversation around themselves and their needs
- Dominates the conversation by talking more than listening, much less showing genuine interest in the other person.
- Talks only about their job search
- Shakes down the other person for access to their “Rolodex”
- Moves through the room quickly to make as many contacts as possible.
These behaviors are annoying and actually are counterproductive by pushing people away and making them less willing to help you. Networking first and foremost is about cultivating a genuine relationship. Too often anxious networkers want to skip the cultivating and cut right to the chase of getting what they need to bolster their job search efforts. So instead of running the risk of being annoying, here are a few helpful reminders.
- Listen intently
- Show genuine interest in others
- Give more than you take
And finally trust that more good things will come to you when you draw people to you instead of hunting them down at a holiday gathering. Happy holidays and happy networking.