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Monday, 22 April 2019 07:50

How "professional" should I be when networking with other professionals?

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How "professional" should I be when networking with other professionals?

The term ‘professional’ is nebulous at best. What may be considered professional in one profession may not in another.

Take, for example, a gathering of adult entertainment stars, porn star's if you will. What might be considered professional with this group may not be appropriate in a gathering of scientific researchers.

The basic concept of being ‘professional’ while at a networking function is you adhere to a certain higher level of expectation. This would include dressing appropriately for the occasion.

Dressing appropriately is always questionable. Despite being told not to, people do judge a book by its cover and in this case when you're at a networking event people will judge you by the clothes you wear.

The idea being that you dress possibly one step better or one step above what you expect others to dress.

Wearing a tuxedo may be appropriate for a black-tie affair however, wearing the same tuxedo to a picnic of your local Chamber of Commerce may help you stand out but not necessarily in a way that you want to.

Acting professional at a networking event includes treating other people with respect, sharing your story with others, meeting new people, looking for common interests, and looking for the opportunity to connect people.

Before you attend the event, you should plan in advance what you hope to achieve. Some people believe in the quantity over quality method. The idea is to connect with as many people as you can during a networking event. I'm more of a quality over quantity networker. As a relatively shy networker, my goals are to connect with several people on a deeper level with the expectation I will take our relationship even further after the event.

Here is a link to a tongue-in-cheek video presentation I created a couple years back on the subject of professional behaviour when networking. Top Networking No No's by Rae Stonehouse


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