Don’t Do This to Your Network

If you have read any of my previous articles, you know I believe that a strong network is an integral part of the job search process, especially at the executive level. Strong is the operative word because anything less might result in committing this kind of fatal networking mistake.

“Hey stranger – I hope you are doing well. Does your daughter still work for XXXX? There is an opening in XXX I am interested in.”

Notice the introduction … Stranger. Yep, that is pretty much what we are. The 6-word polite inquiry into how I am doing is merely that … polite, and a vehicle to get to the real purpose … perhaps gaining an edge.

Or, so I thought. After a few email exchanges, she said she was merely curious about whether or not it was a good company. Asking that specific question would have been a more palatable request. Regardless of intent, I don’t think I am amiss in saying this kind of request can be a networking killer.

Here are 3 don’ts in networking for a new position.

Don’t think you have trust and relationship where you don’t

If you haven’t worked on your networking relationships, don’t expect trust –or help- to be in place or even available. When you burn and churn even a fledgling network, you quickly destroy it and then have nothing.

Don’t take without first giving

The “golden rule” in networking is give to get. That means, you build before you use. The best way to do the building is to give others help, support, advice, referrals, and recommendations before you need them yourself.

Don’t burn and churn your network

If you do take the time to build a network in anticipation of making a move sometime in the future, then continue to nurture it long after you land that new position. Requesting and taking help from a contact, and then dropping that person like a hot potato once their ability to help is gone, just might mean they will not be willing, or make themselves available, to help in the future.

Most CFOs are so busy working their jobs that working a network has not been a priority. However, good networking strategies are a great career management habit for all executives and leaders.

Copyright CFO-Coach 2017


Cindy Kraft is the CFO-Coach and America’s leading Career & Personal Brand Strategist for Corporate Finance Executives helping clients understand their marketability, articulate their value, and position themselves as the clear and compelling choice. She is a Certified Reach Personal Brand Strategist, Certified Reach Online Identity Strategist, Certified Career Management Coach, Certified Professional Resume Writer, and Job & Career Transition Coach. Cindy can be reached via email, by phone 813-727-3037, or through her website at


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