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You know already how important networking is to your career success, right? So, I’m not going to drone on about how most jobs aren’t advertised, or how networking well means you may never have to formally job search again (not to mention the salary perks when it comes time to negotiate!). Related: 10 Common Networking Mistakes To Avoid There’s a lot of ways to do networking wrong, but one MAJOR mistake you may be making that can trump all the others.

But first: A story!

I was talking to a client of mine about her passion and her next career step. It was time for her to get out there and research, and start doing some informational interviews. She’s a smart, super professional, successful person. She knows how to network and she has a ton to offer her connections. As we talked I assumed our conversation about networking would be brief, because she knows what she is doing. But then she said this: “I don’t know if I should get out there - won’t I just be bothering people?” [INSERT SOUND OF SLAMMING BRAKES] Here was her first, and biggest, mistake: Not asking for help at all. I know most people, and especially women, struggle with this problem. You don’t want to be a bother, you don’t want to waste someone’s time, and you certainly don’t want to be rejected. But nothing will change if you don’t take action. And asking for someone’s help is actually a kindness, if done the right way. Stay with me here for a minute: Have you ever seen someone post a question on Facebook or in a group, and 1,000 people fall all over themselves to give advice? Why is that? Because people like to feel useful and wise. They like to feel smart, and when you ask for their advice and counsel, you give them that feeling. Networking is the same. Spend some time thinking about how you like to be approached for help or information, and then use that as your guide-line for how to approach others. Obviously, doing your research and using sincere flattery will go a long way. :) But most important, just DO it. Ask for help. Get out there. Only good things can come of it, and you deserve good things! Want more networking help, including how to be more confident? Here are some free scripts and tools to get you started. This post was originally published at an earlier date. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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