Whether you are a year into setting up your own shop or a grizzled partner at a multinational law firm, building solid relationships is a vital component in furthering your career. Many lawyers view networking as putting on a fake smile, making the rounds at a local bar function, and engaging in forgettable conversations that will lead to nowhere.
Such bravado and posturing, as Sam puts it, are transparent to the people you meet, and will do nothing to further your reputation or career.
Marci Alboher, of Manage Your Life, has outlined the 7 deadly sins of networking and how to avoid them. While not written directly to lawyers, the article provides valuable insight into what not to do.
Here is just a sample of what not to do that many lawyers need to take to heart:
Asking for an introduction when you are too busy to properly follow up. We’ve all been there. You learn that someone you know knows someone you want to know and you are champing at the bit. You shoot off an email without much deliberation, the person replies promptly (since you have a mutual contact), and because you’re completely swamped, you find it impossible to make time to meet.
Solution: Next time you learn that one of your contacts knows someone you want to know, file that information away and tell your friend you might ask for an intro when you’re less busy.
7 deadly sins of networking, and how to avoid them | Manage Your Life