Why Some IT Pros Are Terrible at Networking

What is the fastest way to advance your career, gain more working relationships, or even have a collaborative proposition? The answer is to network. But despite the simplicity of this ordinary task, according to Dennis McCaferty for CIO Insight, the majority of CIOs do not engage in networking.

Mending the Disconnect

Most people know the benefits of networking, and in fact 89% of professionals are in consensus that networking is beneficial. They will advocate it to their peers, but to actually practice it is an entirely different challenge. A meager 53% of professionals actually attempt to network. To converse with another person on a professional level can be somewhat scary and overwhelming initially, but it is one of the fastest ways to advance one’s career and is crucial.

So why are some IT professionals so terrible at networking? When surveyed, a significant number of respondents admit to having lost opportunities because they failed to utilize networking. Networking can create new job opportunities, earn support from higher-level executives, help to gain new customers, and help get a raise.

Interestingly, 27% of people do not network because they feel as though the opportunities are not in existence to draw them in. Twenty-five percent of people admit they do not network more because they simply do not know how to, and 23% admit they do not network because, presently, they are happy with their position at work. Another barrier is that 16% of people proclaim they simply do not have time in their schedules or that networking takes too much time. Networking is not as overwhelming as it seems to be. There are five common ways to pursue a new professional relationship: social media, work training, a business lunch, community events, and a convention.

When networking, there are a few practices to engage in that will benefit greatly. Always be generous and think about what it is that could be offered to the other party. There should be authenticity because knowing each other on a personal level makes the process more rewarding and less terrifying. Additionally, always honor commitments. If a promise is made, be sure to follow through or the relationship may be forever ruined.

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