Is there such a thing as too much networking?

Yes. There certainly is.

Expanding your network is critical, but you also need to take the time to PRIORITIZE your contacts. Failing to do so can lead to an email overload and jobseekers can get lost in their own sea of communication.

As New York Times bestselling author, Tim Ferriss, reminds us:

Focus on being productive instead of busy.

To avoid spinning your wheels and start to gain traction on your transition, consider organizing the people you know into one of four quadrants:

Quadrant 1: Contacts may include hiring managers, recruiters retained by the company, colleagues of hiring managers, human resource personnel, potential co-workers, suppliers, vendors, and advisors.

Quadrant 2: Contacts may include professional association contacts, industry or community leaders, alumni, or university instructors.

Quadrant 3: Contacts may include friends, relatives, neighbors, volunteers, service providers, and fellow club or association members.

Quadrant 4: Contacts may include friends or family members, former co-workers, classmates, contacts you have made conferences, churchgoers, or third-party providers such as accountants or insurance agents.

Job seekers often make the mistake of networking with Quadrant 4 contacts as their primary focus. Doing so can provide a false sense of security – believing that procuring lots of meetings equals progress. Instead, identify the decision makers and those in a position to influence the hiring process at target companies.

Then, focus your energy on cultivating conversations with contacts who would be Quadrant 1, 2, or 3 for those decision makers.

Be selective in your networking efforts. Take care to invest the most time and energy in those contacts who can bear the most fruit and bring your ideal job to fruition.

For more tips and tricks on how to position yourself for success in the job market, visit www.professionalcourage.com.