If you haven’t checked it out already, here’s the link to my blog on Networking – Love or Hate (Tips & Tricks). After talking with a colleague, the next reasonable step seemed to create a blog around Networking don’ts. Here are the top ten things to avoid when networking! Here are a couple of other links just in case: What Not to Do and 7 Costly Mistakes
First and foremost, please don’t show up trashed (don’t end up trashed either!). I know alcohol can take the edge off, but there is a reason that it’s called “under the influence”. This goes for the many other choices that would leave you impaired. I don’t think I need to even explain why this is a bad idea. It’s not that you can’t drink, just know your limits.
For the LOVE OF GOD – don’t show up looking like you just crawled out of bed. Or come straight from the golf course or tennis court *holds nose*. And especially don’t wear the same thing you are going to wear to Coachella, burning man or any late night club you are going to visit after the event. Pretend it’s an interview and dress appropriately, change later.
In that same line of thought – please watch the amount of cologne/perfume you wear. I swear I had a nose bleed from the smell the man who bathed in himself in Drakkar Noir prior to attending the last event. A good rule of thumb – if I can smell you before I see you, please go home and shower. Try again. Rethink how much you need to spray.
This next one is specifically for my favorite millennial fan base but really is applicable to everyone. Don’t look unapproachable. Take out your earbuds, put the phone away and uncross your arms. Even if it’s half-assed, put some type of smile on your face. If you look like you don’t want company, you can rest assured no one will approach you.
You should act reserved on a first date. There should be no hanging from chandeliers (I mean you could but…) Think of networking to be similar. If you wouldn’t do it on a first date or in front of your mother, don’t do it while networking! And this most definitely includes not talking about politics, abortions, or any type of gay/women rights.
Please don’t ask for my personal number for any reason. Seriously. Networking is business. I’m not here for speed dating or making a new best friend. So keep the business card and you can call me at work. I really don’t appreciate being called on personal time and less I’ve told you it’s okay first.
We all cuss from time to time. But if you have a potty mouth bad enough you could make a sailor blush, – hold your tongue. It’s just as bad of an impression as showing up drunk.
No gum. No smoking. No chewing ice (Or your nails). No twirling hair. No feet tapping. Don’t clear your throat repeatedly. Figure out a plan to subdue your nervous tics. Or annoying behavior.
If you’re selling, don’t be pushy. You’ve come here to close the deal, but guess what – I’m here to network. No need to make me feel like a human cash register. Don’t call me, I’ll call YOU.
NETWORKING, NETWORKING ,NETWORKING, NETWORKING and more
Don’t lie. For any reason. You might get some attention for the moment, but you may lose it for good once they realize the nonsense that is coming out of your mouth. Keep it real!