Don’t Be a Networking Barnacle!

on 020: Articulating Your Brand on LinkedIn

Don’t Be a Networking Barnacle!

Here’s a definition of networking I really like: “A supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest.”

Supportive…Sharing…Common Interests.

This week’s podcast is titled “Brilliant Networking for Brilliant People.” I know the listeners of my podcast, and the readers of my blog, are brilliant people.

A little self-disclosure: when I started writing this blog today, I felt like I’ve beaten the subject of “networking” to death.

Then I stepped back a bit, and remembered it’s such an important topic that I probably should be beating it to death.

In this week’s podcast, I give my top seven tips for becoming a brilliant networker.

Today, let’s talk about networking barnacles.

Specifically, how you don’t want to be a networking barnacle.

Think about barnacles: they attach themselves to the sides or bottom of the boat, eating other parasites.

The boat in no way benefits from these barnacles; in fact, the boat is damaged because of the barnacles.

I don’t want you to be a networking barnacle-all take and no give.

Instead, I want you to have a symbiotic networking relationship. A relationship where both parties benefit equally.

But what if someone else is “barnacling” you?

A few months ago, I had an initial networking meeting with a promising contact. He reached out to me after I spoke at an organization meeting, and I believed we could both help each other. We are in the same field, after all.

Throughout our networking meeting, I was very aware of my energy level. I felt as though I was being grilled for information…contacts…ideas…with little given in return.


There wasn’t much I could do during that meeting, short of getting up and walking out, but afterwards I vowed not to meet again with this individual.

Here’s the message: continue to evaluate your networking contacts. Spend more time with the individuals (and groups) you are in symbiosis with; remove yourself from the individuals and groups you are being barnacled by.

ECC Services

ECC Podcasts

Don't miss a moment of Lesa Edwards' Exclusive Career Coaching podcasts. This weekly podcast covers all things career management including job search strategies, interviewing tips, networking tools, maximizing LinkedIn, salary negotiations, and managing your mindset around your career.