There are many ways to connect with people both socially and professionally. However, in the process of increasing your network, when do you cross the line and become a predatory networker?
Liz Ryan describes what it means to be a predatory networker, and then offers 10 tips to help connect in a courteous and professional manner, while providing insight for dealing with those who don’t.
What about connecting with someone you don’t know? In my experience, just because you don’t know someone doesn't mean you shouldn't connect. Most people are more than willing to offer career advice, lessons learned, etc; but present them with reasons why you are seeking their help. Spell out areas where you are the same, and areas that differ. If they accept, make a solid first impression and stick to some sort of agenda. Remember, reaching out is a good thing, but forcing ideas, beliefs, etc, will only hurt your chances of connecting with them again.
So, continue to reach out and seek advice from as many people as possible, but avoid predatory networking!