I wish I didn’t have to elaborate on this because it’s really quite simple, but we all make mistakes and sometimes it’s more serious than others.
Now I get it. Finding a job is hard and it’s even harder to find a job that you actually like to do, but when you get a connection, don’t mess it up, please. I’ve been told a lot of times by others, “if you want to get into your field, you need to network network network.” Even harder than networking, is keeping those relationships that you make.
Retaining relationships is a skill set that I underestimate all the time, but some people have it and it’s easy for them. Now if you have this skill set down, you need to be smart about it. Don’t be hitting your connect up before you’re actually friends. Keep it professional, right? It’s an easy concept to understand, but unfortunately it’s not practiced enough.
I’ll tell you a TRUE STORY of a situation that happened with someone I know. They were looking to hire someone and after having met with several applicants, he decided on someone, but kept in touch with another applicant just in case a position that would better fit her would open up. Also, she was recommended by another friend for the position so he figured since they had a mutual friend, she had to be cool. By the way, they had never met in person before.
She ended up being cool and checking in every now and then to build the trust so that when something DID open up, she would be the first person to call dibs. Unfortunately, she made the biggest mistake to invite him to something before solidifying the friendship; she invited him to her birthday party, which took place at a nightclub. It wasn’t a BBQ or a baseball game or a beach bonfire where people could meet each other have cool conversations.
By the time he got there, she was wasted and blacked out and was a sloppy mess, which is totally fine. You’re allowed to behave however you want on your birthday, but don’t invite someone who could potentially be your future employer and boss who you’re not quite friends with yet.
He saw her acting in typical drunk birthday fashion and decided that she wasn’t a good fit for the company because he didn’t know how she would behave if they took clients out to dinner.
So long story short, think about your actions. Think 3 or 4 steps ahead. And use your common sense.