Some weeks ago, we did an article encouraging young professionals to get into the habit of networking. If you haven’t read it, read it here. But can there be such a thing as too much networking? Yes, actually.
Death by networking
Friday night. Startup happy hour. You could actually be at home, resting or working on your company. But you’re at some event hosted by a startup that helps start ups become successful. Does this sound familiar? This is like y0ur 13th networking event this month. You need to ask yourself if this event is any help to you or your company.
You need to focus on your business. Not just networking. How do you know you’re networking too much?
You have several contacts from the same company
You might tell yourself that introducing yourself to multiple people from the same company is a good thing because if you finally get a job there, you’d fit right in. Making multiple contacts from the same company especially if they’re from different departments is logical. If one person knocks you off or lets you down, you know that you can rely on someone else. This is actually a harmful strategy.
This is actually a harmful strategy. First of all, think about all the time you’re wasting. Also, when the co-workers realise that you’re a common contact and that they’re been doing duplicate work for you, it will count against you. At the end of the day, it sends a clear message that you don’t trust your contacts and no one wants to feel that way. The way to go about this is to do some research and then reach out to the most appropriate person for your task. If it seems that the person isn’t being attentive, ask him/her if there’s someone else who can assist you better.
- Unsuccessful emails
Do you send two or more emails in a row without receiving a reply from the other person? Have you heard of the term “double emailer”? That’s what you are. Note that this doesn’t include those times when you hit the send button too soon and had to send an attachment in another email. This term specifically refers to instances where you send a follow-up email because you haven’t gotten a response in your ideal time frame.
It is true that sometimes, there are some emails that need an urgent reply. However, such time-sensitive matters hardly ever happen in networking scenarios. If your second email is something like “I’m just emailing you to say hi” or you’re basically poking and being overbearing for a response, then you’re double emailing.
And to be honest, if someone hasn’t gotten back to you, it’s because they’re either too busy or your email is just not that important to them. Disturbing someone and sending incessant emails will not change anything. If anything, it’ll make you seem desperate, inconsiderate and impatient. Wait for seven days and then send ONLY one email just to check up on things.
You barely have enough time to even focus on your own work
Building and managing a company is difficult and very time-consuming. This is obviously very different from networking which is easier. Turn up to an even, meet people, have fun, step away from work, etc. If you start to notice that you don’t have enough time for your own work, then it’s okay to cut back on the networking.