Why Some IT Pros Are Terrible at Networking

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 10-08-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Why Some IT Pros Are Terrible at Networking
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    Why Some IT Pros Are Terrible at Networking

    A significant number of survey respondents said they've lost a job opportunity because they failed to use networking as a business tool.
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    Worthwhile Effort
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    Worthwhile Effort

    89% of professionals and job seekers believe networking is beneficial.
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    Top Benefits of Networking
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    Top Benefits of Networking

    Creating new job opportunities: 32%, Earning support from people with higher standings: 23%, Gaining new customers: 18%, Getting a raise: 14%
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    Inactive Status
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    Inactive Status

    53% of professionals and job seekers admit they do "very little" or no networking, despite the widespread awareness of the benefits.
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    Consequential Decision
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    Consequential Decision

    27% of those who feel they don't do enough networking have lost out on a job opportunity as a result.
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    Networking Barriers: Elusive Outlet
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    Networking Barriers: Elusive Outlet

    27% said they do not network more because the opportunities aren't there.
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    Networking Barriers: Guidance Gap
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    Networking Barriers: Guidance Gap

    25% said they do not network more because they don't know the best way to go about it.
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    Networking Barriers: Career Contentment
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    Networking Barriers: Career Contentment

    23% don't network more because they're already in a good place in their career.
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    Networking Barriers: Booked Calendar
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    Networking Barriers: Booked Calendar

    16% said they can't coordinate networking into their schedule, and the same percentage feels that it takes too much time.
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    Most Common Ways to Pursue Networking
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    Most Common Ways to Pursue Networking

    Social media: 50%, Work training: 33%, Business lunches: 23%, Community events: 20%, Conventions/trade shows: 19%
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    Networking Best Practices: Be Generous
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    Networking Best Practices: Be Generous

    Always think about what you can offer to those within your networks to elevate your perceived value.
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    Networking Best Practices: Convey Authenticity
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    Networking Best Practices: Convey Authenticity

    When networking enables people to know each other on a personal level, it makes the process more rewarding than daunting.
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    Networking Best Practices: Honor Your Commitments
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    Networking Best Practices: Honor Your Commitments

    Deliver upon any promises you make within your network. Keeping your word speaks volumes about your integrity and professional worth.
 

As a CIO, you're expected to feel as comfortable engaging techies as you are senior execs with MBAs. And, often, schmoozing with IT and business pros at networking events presents great opportunities to raise your industry profile, promote your company and soak up useful knowledge. But tell us honestly: How often do you network? If you answered "seldom if ever," then you're in the majority: Most professionals and job seekers recognize the advantages of networking, yet they generally avoid this activity, according to a recent survey from the University of Phoenix School of Business. While some fail to network due to a lack of opportunity to do so, many hesitate because they "don't know the best way to go about it." Sometimes, they pay the price, as a notable share of survey respondents said they've lost a job opportunity by not networking. "Most people agree networking is an effective way to find their next career, gain a new client or collaborate on a work project; yet many may fear the process," said Rhonda Capron, academic dean for University of Phoenix School of Business. "Networking is a powerful tool that can make a difference in a person's career. Investing time and effort into learning how to develop these professional relationships and seize opportunities to engage with other professionals might be a little scary, but it is crucial for career advancement." The university includes best practices from Capron for networking along with the findings, and we've adapted some of those here. More than 2,000 professionals and job seekers took part in the research.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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