ManpowerGroup South Africa’s managing director, Lyndy van den Barselaar, recommends five networking practices you should leave at the door on your way to your next event or meeting.
1. Don’t take friends with you to a professional networking event. Unless your friend is interested in landing a job or networking professionally, do not invite them. You are not attending a social gathering.
Of course, the idea behind networking is to be social, but it’s a goal-driven social event, meaning you should go alone so that you will not be distracted or tempted to spend more time with your friend than with your new acquaintances.
2. Don’t be a wallflower. Use the networking opportunity to your advantage. Initiate conversations about yourself, the person you are networking with and your career. If you don’t engage with others, your chances of meeting someone who can lead you to your next job are nil. “Make it a point to meet at least three new people,” suggests Van den Barselaar.