We get it. Networking can be intimidating. But, it’s also often misunderstood. We’ve debunked six common myths to help you approach this necessary skill with confidence.
Myth: You only should be networking if you are looking for a job.
Reality: You can network at any point in your career. Networking is about making connections that can benefit both parties professionally. This relationship can lead to new job opportunities, but it can also benefit you in your current position by providing new information, learning new skills, and making connections you can bring back to the office.
Myth: It’s a bad idea to let your current employer know you are networking.
Reality: Networking is a great way to grow your professional development. Most employers will encourage their staff to get out there and learn things that they can bring back to the organization.
Myth: Networking is only for building relationships.
Reality: Not every connection you make has to be for professional gain. Networking events are a great space to build mentor/mentee relationships and friendships with people in your area.
Myth: Extroverts are the best at networking.
Reality: Networking is about building one-to-one connections, not being the most outgoing person in the room. Forming more meaningful relationships with only a small handful of people at the event can be more worthwhile than speaking to everyone there.
Myth: It’s weird to ask for a business card.
Reality: You shouldn’t let your networking connections end at the conclusion of the event. Asking for a business card or for a way to connect later is important to building a good working relationship. Once you have their contact information, don’t forget to follow up with them post-event.
Myth: Networking events are for work, not fun.
Reality: Networking can happen anywhere, including at some cool alumni events. Check out locations like Stone Brewing or the iHeartMedia headquarters and meet panelists from Google, Expedia, and more.
Join us in January for Elevate, UConn’s national series of career workshops to help alums, family, and friends take their careers to the next level.