Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist
Join us as we talk about…
In this week’s episode…
- You’ll learn why online networking isn’t as powerful as networking in person.
- Next, you’ll discover what not to do at a networking event
- Finally, you’ll learn tips to enhance the networking experience
Avoid doing this at networking events
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics concluded in a recent survey that 85 percent of jobs are filled by networking.
I’ll give you a second so you can let that statistic sink in.
That means that if you’re not leveraging your network, you’re fighting exponentially harder to land any given position – in industry or academia.
You should be spending time every single week, if not every day, networking in person or online. When you network online, it’s a lot easier to make a good impression in many ways – you can take time to think about what you want to say, you can speak directly to a single person without any external noise, and you have that person’s profile in front of you so you basically have a conversation cheat-sheet.
But these online interactions, according to a study by Forbes, don’t carry the same weight as in-person networking events. In fact, that means you need to suck it up and make yourself go network in person.
And just going isn’t enough, either. You can’t merely show up to an event, throw a few business cards at people, and expect to get a strong job referral.
You have to show up, build rapport, and offer value – even when you feel like you have nothing to offer. You have to participate, sorry.
But I’ll tell you what you shouldn’t do, without a doubt. You shouldn’t be any of these three PhDs that no one wants to meet at a networking event.
Number One is the Extra-Extroverted PhD. You see these most often at events that serve alcohol. This person is loud. They’re laughing and talking at an inappropriate volume. They seem like they’re having just a little too much fun.
Whether it’s a ruse to mask your nerves or the booze talking, don’t be the person that sticks out for being abrasive. If you’re nervous, you can always try reaching out to the host before the event and ask them to introduce you to a few people when you arrive. This might sound awkward, but trust me, hosts love doing this.
The second type of unsuccessful PhD is the Drive-By Connector. You can’t just show up to a networking event, shove your business card into a few hands and leave.
If you want to be remembered, you need to invest in getting to know the people you meet. Don’t assume other people will follow up with you just because you gave them your business card. They won’t. It’s up to you to build and maintain your networking relationships.
The third type of PhD you don’t want to be is The Clinger. You’ve made a connection – that’s great! Once you’ve exchanged contact info, it’s time to move along. If you set up camp because you don’t know how to conclude a conversation with someone, that connection is ruined.
Body language is your first hint that it’s time to move on. If their eyes have begun to wander around the room, if they’ve positioned their body at an angle so their shoulders are no longer square with your shoulders, or if they’ve started to fidget then it’s time to move along.
Excuse yourself politely, let them know you’re looking forward to staying in touch, and then catch up with someone else in the room.