My top do’s and don’ts for networking

Monday, April 3, 2023
by Simran, AFM Student

Hey everyone! My name is Simran, and I am a first-year Accounting and Financial Management student. Do you remember the first time you had to network with someone? How daunting and awkward it initially feels? Being a part of the School of Accounting and Finance community comes with many networking opportunities and many learning experiences to build your networking skills. Networking is important for building connections and opening doors to potential opportunities. To build this essential skill, here are three networking do’s and don’ts:

Do #1: Establish a common ground

Get to know the person as an individual along with getting to know them as a professional! This helps to establish a meaningful connection that will allow them to remember you after.

Do #2: Be respectful of people’s time

When in a larger networking event, be aware that the person you may be talking to may want to also network with other individuals. Be respectful of the fact that the event is also a networking event for the other party.

Do #3: Maintain professionalism

People you network with can become sponsors for you, so it's super important that you leave a good impression and remain professional. This includes things like professional attire (depending on the occasion) and language.

Don’t #1: Don’t limit yourself to a specific job role or position

Sometimes the best people to network with are the people you least expected to connect with. Being open to all opportunities may open more doors than chasing someone with a specific designation.

Don’t #2: Don’t allow your nerves to overtake the opportunity

Sometimes it's best to step outside of your comfort zone and connect with people with unique experiences and backgrounds. To avoid presenting yourself as awkward, be aware of body language (fidgeting, avoiding eye contact) that may signal a lack of confidence.

Don’t #3: Don’t show up unprepared

Know what you’re getting yourself into. Find out who is going to be there, and have some questions ready to ask.