As I tell my Career Coaching clients, it’s so important that you don’t just go through the motions when you network. It’s a very common mindset when you’re networking to think, “Okay, cross that contact off the list, who’s next, and then after him, I gotta meet her, and after her, let’s see who, um…”
You have to fight that instinct.
Networking is about going deeper and taking the time to understand the people you’re networking with. When doing so, make sure YOU know who you are and the value you can deliver – that way you won’t give off the impression you want to live off their success (in other words, a “begger”, not an asset).
But that’s just one of many personality types you don’t want to be. I recently read and liked an article that calls out three specific networking types everyone should avoid being when connecting professionally. Per the article, they are:
1. The biased leader. Don’t solely rely on advisers who are similar to you. They only reinforce your biases. Look for people who have different backgrounds or values and will encourage you to make more informed decisions.
2. The superficial networker. A common networking mistake is to engage in surface-level interaction with as many people as possible. A bigger network is not a better one. Be sure your relationships have depth.
3. The chameleon. Don’t change your interests, values, and personality to match those of whomever you’re talking to. You’ll end up more disconnected than when you started. Be true to who you are.”
Do any of these profiles sound familiar? And if you network a lot, what kinds of other “types” annoy you?