In celebration of Halloween, let’s discuss a few scary things that can happen while networking. These horrors can occur in person, phone, email or social media. It’s always best to double check any communication you’re sending and be prepared for conversation.
Social Media Scares
Social media can be a great way to network with professionals in your industry. However, you should be cautious with what you post, share and like. If you are posting negatively about a certain organization and then try to network with its employees, they could potentially read your rants. Also, not everyone has the same sense of humor, so be careful posts including jokes. Check your posts using the mom or supervisor test. If they might find it offensive or inappropriate, do not post it.
Freddy vs. Jason
Incorrectly addressing someone in a message can cause a gut-wrenching affect. It could happen accidently; maybe you heard another name while you were typing or your computer autocorrected it. Always double-check names before clicking “send.”
Forgetting your business card is similar to not bringing your homework to class. It’s a missed opportunity to get your contact information out there. Always keep a few cards in your wallet, purse or backpack. You never know when you might need one!
Indianapolis is a large city, but sometimes has a small-town feel. You will most likely come across people you’ve already met, and may have forgotten. If you’re not absolutely positive of a person’s name, do not try to guess; wait until they introduce themselves. Best case scenario is they don’t remember meeting you either. If they do, just stay calm and apologize for your lapse in memory.
Some networking events take place in the evenings and you may be tempted by the bar (if you’re of legal drinking age). Before you order, survey the crowd and see if others are drinking adult beverages. Be sure to drink responsibly as your behavior could damage your personal brand.
Some Mystery is Necessary
Avoid oversharing when meeting new people. When you’re in a professional setting, it isn’t appropriate to discuss your latest argument you had with your significant other or a wild time you had at a party. Also, do not discuss controversial issues like politics and religion. Keep conversation light and appropriate.