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networking burnout

Image by David Castillo Dominic via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I recently wrote a blog post about professional burnout. This is a very relevant topic as we head into the final weeks of 2013. This is the point where people find themselves drained from their job, exhausted from their responsibilities, and coming down off of high points from the year – as well as realizing which goals remain unaccomplished.

As an optimist, I think this is the time of year that we should be looking forward to brighter opportunities in 2014! But the reality is that, for most of us, burnout can and will hit. And I’ve found from my experience with Career Coaching clients that the act of networking is one of the biggest contributors to burnout.

Whether you’re looking for a new job while employed or are out of a job looking for work, constantly reaching out to people, trying to arrange meetings, and making yourself known at networking events takes a lot out of you – especially when results aren’t instant.

This is why I love this list of 8 Ways To Avoid Networking Burnout from Jan Triplett. She gives very rationale insight into how you can set yourself up for networking success without burning yourself out. Read the whole article, but see her list of tips below. Are there any you would add?

  1. Don’t have too many goals to accomplish. Focus on the most important. Prioritize the others.
  2. Only go to meetings that are worth your time and effort. If you examine your goal and this meeting can really help, go. Otherwise, go spend some time with a friend. Enjoy the experience of being comfortable with someone you trust for a while.
  3. Don’t try to meet everyone when you’re at a networking event. Don’t try to followup with everyone either. Be choosy.
  4. Set up a networking system that you can follow and follow it. This means have a database that you can refer to and easily make changes including additions and deletions. A system helps you do things more automatically and not have things that fall through the cracks or get away from you. If you spend too much time or are too anxious about your contacts or what they said, you will burn out for sure.
  5. Immediacy is good but not always critical. Don’t feel you always have to share or act on the information your network provided in the next second. Sometimes, it’s that important but not always. If you stay in crisis mode, you’ll burn out faster. Take time to think through before you act.
  6. Find a network partner or partners to share the load. If you have strategic alliances set up with members of your network, then the work gets done faster and easier.
  7. Don’t go over and over things you didn’t do for your network or that they recommended to you that you didn’t or haven’t done yet. It’s probably ok. You need to be choosy here, too. It may have been more important for you to be somewhere else or help someone else in your network. It’s your choice. Make the best decisions you can, adjust when you’re off base, and relax.
  8. If all else fails, take a nap. Seriously, do something different and take your mind off networking completely.