The unwritten rules of networking etiquette

20160329144102I went to a networking event/debate/party (yes it was all of those things) last week. Wasn’t really on my A game because I was a little under the weather but I was determined to go. The topic of discussion was ‘Is now a good time to move back to Nigeria’. Very insightful debate, had some good convo with the little energy I had, even did a little two step (or more) to some afrobeats. All in all, a good evening. BUT, (yes there’s always a but, that’s why it’s called my ‘ramblings’) I have to vent a little.

Now I am not a professional networker, wouldn’t call myself that, maybe some time in the near future, but not now, but what I would say is that I’m a very sociable person, most of the time lol. Anyway, I’m sure there are some sort of unwritten rules when it comes to networking that you don’t need to learn, you should just know. For example, you should know that it isn’t proper to chase someone out of an event into the rain, shouting their name, just to find out their full name for their Linkedin profile and number, you should know that right? You would think so…(Yes this happened to me!) Then you have the little annoying things which again should be an unwritten rule of networking etiquette: if you see the person walking towards the exit or heading towards to the cloakroom to get their coat, it probably means they’re done for the day right? So probably not the best time to start up a convo and attempt to find out their life story? Again you would think so.

I actually tried to find some ‘real’ networking etiquette rules online but to be honest, I didn’t really agree with half of them, seemed a little forced. Networking, for me, should not be a struggle, it should still be quite natural, you should genuinely have interest in getting to know the other person but also know where to draw the line. It should be seen as a way of making a new acquaintance rather than just meeting someone to get further in life. Like I said, I am not a professional networker (if there is such a thing), so I found some useful written rules for networking here from Quick and Dirty Tips. Here’s a couple:

  1. Choose wisely
  2. Don’t sell

To fully understand these points above (and it’s vital you do) read the full article.

I would add a couple other unwritten rules of networking etiquette:

  1. Make sure your breath is fresh before attempting a convo
  2. There’s networking and there’s flirting, if it’s a networking event don’t treat it as speed dating
  3. If the person you are attempting to ‘network’ with clearly looks uninterested, move on! It’s not by force sha

I know it’s been a while but I hope you enjoyed my little rant 🙂 Let me know your thoughts on networking, your pet peeves with networking, what unwritten rules I may have missed or any bad experiences you may have had.

Until next time

Miss Mimi xxx






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