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Career networking - too much, or not enough?

Recently, several media sources criticized President Obama for being "overexposed" with his message to americans.  This raises a question we must all ask ourselves - for career advancement, how much is too much when it comes to networking and/or exposure of ourselves, our services, our brand?

Networking is a necessary and powerful tool for career advancement and enhancement.  But when does it cross the line into the category of "overexposure" or career suicide?   Effective networking for career advancement purposes is tricky.  One must ensure there is a two-way flow of communication, support, and interest.   The quickest way to destroy great networking contacts is to have an expectation of always being on the receiving end of the relationship.  Unless you are willing to give as much as you receive, your networking efforts will fail. 

Having your name and/or brand posted on social networking sites is encouraged, however be very careful when trying to force your message on people who have no interest.  That's when you cross the line into "spam" territory.  If individuals are not opting in to receive your newsletter, don't force it on them.  An increase in visibility also brings about an increase in expectations and vunerability.  As your exposure and pool of networking contacts grow, you must grow as well - both personally and professionally.  Find a good balance of communication.  Don't communicate too much or leave your contacts hanging by disappearing for too long.  Everyone is unique in their styles and needs.  Learn the style of each individual contact.  If you get to the point where you're treating everyone the same, it's time to step back and re-assess the process.  Done correctly, the right amount of exposure and networking is the number one method of growing both your business and your personal brand.

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