Survey: More Than One Quarter of Managers Say Not Keeping In Touch is Biggest Networking Mistake
TORONTO, July 23, 2014 /CNW/ - When you schmooze, if you snooze, you lose, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. More than one in four (27 per cent) senior managers interviewed said failing to keeping in touch with contacts is the top networking mistake. Burning bridges with past employers ranked second, with 21 per cent of the response. The study also identified networking online (30 per cent) as the most effective way to connect with professional acquaintances, followed closely by meeting for lunch or coffee (29 per cent).
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 300 Canadian senior managers.
Senior managers were asked, "In your opinion, which one of the following is the biggest mistake people make when networking with professional contacts?" Their responses:
|Not keeping in touch with contacts||27%|
|Burning bridges with past employers||21%|
|Not asking for help when they need it||20%|
|Not thanking people for their help||14%|
|Not providing help when others need it||14%|
|Don't know/No answer||4%|
Senior managers also were asked, "Which of the following do you find is the most effective way to network with professional contacts?" Their responses:
|Meeting in person over lunch or coffee||29%|
|Participating in a professional association||23%|
|Attending a local networking event||11%|
|Participating in personal interest activities (e.g., sports, hobbies, etc.)||2%|
"Professionals who treat networking as a one-time deal aren't getting the most out of this important part of building business relationships," said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. "Whether you're looking to land a new job or build your visibility, every connection counts and it's important to foster the professional relationships for the long-term."
Hosking added, "Although networking online can be an effective way to establish professional relationships and keep in touch, the value of in-person activities like meeting for lunch or attending industry events can't be overlooked. These gatherings allow you to put a face to a name and make a memorable impression."
OfficeTeam offers five tips to avoid being a networking novice:
- Keep it constant. You should network continually, not just when you're at a career crossroads. Periodically check in with your contacts to see how they're doing and update them on any changes in your professional life. Show your interest in helping others by sending interesting news articles or sharing job openings.
- Act quickly. Follow up with people you meet immediately after an event while the connection is still fresh. Along the same lines, promptly respond to any requests that come through your network to build goodwill.
- Mix things up. Avoid relying on just one method for networking. Use a blend of online and in-person approaches. Always carry business cards and have an elevator speech ready; you never know when or where you might meet a new contact.
- Be reasonable. When you ask for help, be clear about what you need and avoid making extreme demands. Don't be discouraged if some individuals lack the resources or time to lend a hand.
- Give thanks. Show appreciation to your contacts for any assistance they provide and always look to return the favor.
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. More information, including online job search services and the OfficeTeam Take Note blog (blog.officeteam.com), can be found at officeteam.com. Follow OfficeTeam at twitter.com/officeteam, and gain insights into the latest administrative hiring and salary trends at www.officeteam.com/salarycentre
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