4 Common Networking Event Fails To Make A Career Girl Blush
Getting ahead in the world of work has always been a tricky prospect for women. In fact, the prospect of the career woman is a relatively new invention that many attribute to the mid 20th century (although of course there have been many enterprising and industrious women throughout history). Nonetheless, it’s hard to give prospective employers or corporate higher ups a flavor for who you are through the resume and cover letter alone. How can you possibly get all of your skills, achievements and effervescent personality across in such a limited format?
Fortunately, that’s where networking events can be a colossal boon to the career hungry girl. While they can provide a great platform for you to sell yourself to the men and women who will one day help you to fulfill your career goals, these events are often busy and hectic making it all too easy for you to fall afoul of these common networking event fails that could at best send you home blushing or at worse cripple your career advancement prospects…
Nobody thinks you’re going to attend a networking event in a bikini or one of the most dazzling prom dresses 2018 has to offer. Nonetheless, it’s possible to dress appropriately for work but inappropriately for a networking event. Remember that these events are a little like speed dating. You’ll need to get as much of yourself across as possible in a very limited window of time and (rightly or wrongly) people will make snap judgments about you based on your appearance. Check out these tips for how to dress correctly for a networking event.
You’re there to network and while you’re also there to sell yourself, it’s a mistake to go into one of these events the same way you would a sales scenario. The best sales professionals mix charm with aggression and determination and will rarely accept no for an answer. While this attitude may sway a customer, they’re likely to irritate a busy executive or entrepreneur. Relax and be yourself. It’s one of the most effective ways to get people interested in you.
Talking too much
We all get star struck when we’re talking to someone we admire or someone who has the potential to further our career in a networking situation. In these situations some people clam up, while others spontaneously develop verbal diarrhea. Ensure that your conversation is a two way street and that in your overzealousness you don’t forget to listen. Not only is it a common courtesy but the people you’re likely to encounter will have insights and opinions well worth listening to.
Failing to follow up
If you’ve made a great first impression on that important someone, you may come home giddy with anticipation thinking that you’ve lit the fuse on the rocket that will propel your career into the stratosphere… But how long should you leave it before contacting them? This is one area in which networking is radically different to speed dating. Resist the urge to play it cool. Contact them on LinkedIn as soon as possible. Let them know how much you enjoyed the conversation and invite them for a follow up at their convenience. The person will likely be very busy so the longer you leave it the less chance you’ll be remembered.