Networking Mistakes

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Networking can provide valuable resources for executives, but common mistakes can diminish its effectiveness.

What’s the top mistake executives make?

According to CFOs in a Robert Half Management Resources survey, it’s not asking for help from their network (30%).

The No. 2 blunder, respondents reported, is failing to keep in touch or reaching out only when they need something (23%).

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. “We all need guidance from time to time, and people are usually happy to offer support when they can.”

Robert Half Management Resources offers questions for executives to answer to gain more confidence when reaching out to their network:

  • What do I want? Clearly define the support you need. Providing specifics enables contacts to determine how they can assist you and recommend additional resources.
  • What can I offer? Identify ways to help your contacts, such as sharing job leads or industry research. You’ll be more confident making a request if you assist others.
  • What’s next? Networking should be an ongoing process, but it doesn’t always need to be formal. Sending a quick email or forwarding an article of interest keeps connections active. Asking for help is less awkward if you stay in touch.

Also, remember to say “thank you.” Often it’s the little things that matter.

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