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Do's & Don'ts of Networking in the GovCon World

In the federal segment, everyone seems to know someone who knows someone, but there are certainly some standout leaders who seem to make the world smaller. We reached out to several of those leaders to provide you with the following do's and don'ts of networking.

Research by Nicholas Christakis at Yale shows a network amplifies anything in it, good or bad. So,
surround yourself with the people you want to be.

Do...

  1. Join and participate in professional associations.
  2. Treat any social setting as a potential networking opportunity.
  3. Attempt to have in-person meetings versus conference calls an emails.
  4. Listen, be genuine, and try to make networking mutually beneficial.
  5. Follow up and follow through on the commitments you make.
  6. Stay positive and pick your topics of conversation wisely.
  7. Make your way around the room and talk with lots of people.
  8. Be professional and dress appropriately.

Don't...

  1. Participate in only one networking group.  It is important to develop a breadth of networking contacts.
  2. Rely solely on industry-specific events for networking.
  3. Rely on email as a networking venue.
  4. Make it all about you.
  5. Over-commit and/or be a no-show.  You will be taken off the list for future events.
  6. Avoid gossip and controversial topics like politics.
  7. Be a "hanger-on" and follow the same person around just because you don't know anyone else.
  8. Overindulge in alcoholic beverages.

There are many benefits of both internal (within your organization) and external networking.  When asked the number-one mistake people made when trying to get ahead at the office, Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Jeffrey Pfeffer answered: Opting out of the social dynamics of the company.  Learn more on how networking can benefit your career, your organization, and the broader community by downloading our whitepaper.

 

Download Networking Whitepaper