Are you in a situation where networking myths have held you back from actually taking full advantage of career opportunities that have come your way?? Whether you are searching for a job, building your career or just looking to connect with professionals in your field or outside of it, networking is a great way to get ahead.
Unfortunately, some myths about networking can hold you back from enjoying a fulfilling career. In this piece, we will take a look at some career myths and ways you can rise above them and forge ahead with your career.
This myth can be very limiting and this is because it keeps you away from fully exploring opportunities that might have otherwise served as a springboard to career growth. If you are actively searching for a job, seeking to connect with an opportunity or trying to learn more about a specific industry, it is okay to ask for help.
The notion that you should not ask for help is wrong and should be considered nothing but a networking myth.
The thing about asking for help is that it largely depends on how you go about it. You should understand that asking for help does not mean you will get it. If you get what you want, that’s fine. If things don’t work out as you had expected, what you should do is to nurture that relationship for future purposes. You should, however, be reasonable with your requests – Blasting your network with a constant stream of emails is not ideal and might end up being counterproductive.
Be subtle in your approach – In the case of a job, you can send a brief introduction about yourself, your values and the kind of opportunities you are looking for. Don’t initiate a conversation by sending an email with your CV attached. That should come later. Once you have created the needed interest, they will be obliged to ask to see your Resume or CV.
The myth that networking via events is more effective than doing it via social media is a grave misconception. The true value of either medium will be based on your networking goals, skills, personality and approach.
Your approach to networking should include both offline and online channels. A networking contact you gain via an event can be nurtured and built over the social media while a connection you make on social media can grow into one that is mutually beneficial and take you further in your career.
Like most networking myths, the believe that you can only get help from networks that are senior-level professionals is completely wrong. In the course of building your professional network, you should not forget that you can benefit from all professionals. Let us put this into context – At some point in your career, top level professionals will retire. This is quite inevitable. With the passage of time, entry-level professionals and mid-level professionals will grow in their respective careers and will be in a position to take you closer to your career goals.The best networking relationships are those that are mutually beneficial and the best way to achieve this is to genuinely interested in their careers the same way you want them to be interested in yours. It is easier to get them to help you if you have also helped them in some way.
If you seek to build a strong line of the professional network, it is important to understand that collecting people’s business cards and stocking them does not make them your network. Most of them won’t even recognise you if you reach out to them 6 months after meeting them in person. Collecting business cards is not the end goal. Instead, having their contact details should be considered a means to an end. You should invest in nurturing relationships and providing true value.