If you’ve been networking up a storm and haven’t been making much progress, maybe that’s because you’re not asking for enough help.
According to a new OfficeTeam survey, 42 percent of senior managers said not asking for help from others is the biggest networking mistake. The second faux pas points to failing to keep in touch with contacts, and as for the third? Not thanking people for their help.
Switching gears, one of the best ways to stay in touch is online, as indicated by the survey, followed by meeting for lunch or coffee. The third best way is to attend a local networking event.
Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, emphasized the importance of networking in a press release. Whether you’re “looking to land a new job or build your visibility, every connection counts.” And many people don’t ask for help because perhaps they’re embarrassed or think they can succeed on their own but there’s no harm in reaching out for help.
Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while networking:
1. Be consistent. Network continuously instead of waiting until you’re in freak out mode for a new job. Periodically check in with contacts. Try to help them as well by sending links to relevant articles and job openings.
2. Act quickly. Follow up swiftly after you meet someone at an event or after you meet up for lunch or coffee.
3. Mix things up. Instead of relying solely on social media, mix it up with online networking and in-person approaches. Be ready, too. You never know when a casual conversation in the doctor’s waiting room or on the train can spark a new potential connection.
4. Be specific. People can make a significant impact in helping you achieve your goals if you’re specific. Instead of saying you’re “looking for a job,” you can tailor it to say you’re “looking for someone who works within marketing in digital media who can help you get your foot in the door for opportunities seeking three to five years of experience.”