Avoid These Middle East Networking Mistakes at All Costs

Avoid These Middle East Networking Mistakes at All Costs

Networking is one of the most powerful tools you can use to grow job prospects and professional reputation. However, networking must be conducted using different styles for different cultures and personalities. The Middle East networking culture is far varied from what you may be accustomed to. Take some advice from the mistakes listed bellow and master your networking techniques to suit your soon-to-be destination.

These Are the Middle East Networking Mistakes Your Must Avoid!


Avoid – Asking for something the wrong way

Europe and North America’s business culture can appear hurried compared to the Middle East’s. Directness is valued, so to appear genuine and without ulterior motives. This is not the case in the Middle East. When networking take the time to get to know your contact. Learn what their overall ambitions are and the skills or services they are looking for. Then you can provide details of how you can assist in this venture. Try not to appear self-centered about what they can do for you on the on-set.

Remember that the goal of networking is to broaden your network and to make meaningful connections so that they can help you later on. So be prepared to treat networking as a marathon, not a sprint. You have to build up to your pitch. Focus on the other person for a while and find ways where you two can continue to connect and build a stronger relationship.

Business networking lunch meeting, Middle East


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Avoid – Not showing gratitude

Consider this scenario: you attended an industry conference last week and shared a meal with one of your new professional contacts afterward. However, the week got hectic and you did not get around to saying thank you. Your contact will understand, right? If you’re lucky, perhaps. But if you don’t show gratitude, even in the smallest (or largest) event, you risk leaving a negative impression, particularly in an Arab culture.

No matter what, be sure to display your thanks and appreciation for their time and consideration. Set yourself a reminder on your email to send off a quick note, or just insert a quick “thanks for taking time to meet with me!” at the final handshake; you must say thank you. Do not feel afraid to go over the top and feel like a suck up. In Arab culture, this is a normal custom. By showing gratitude you will solidify your reputation as a courteous individual and leave a good impression that will last until your next meeting.


Avoid – Not following up

Many business professionals are simply too busy. They may have been really impressed with your initial contact and conversations with them, but they do not have the time to dig out your business card and make the next call. So take the initiative and do it for them! Wait a few days to give them some time to think over your first meeting. Then, make a phone call, send an e-mail or leave a message through social media.

When following up, remind the contact about your conversation, giving details about the discussion to refresh their memory. After this step, politely ask if they need you to assist them take the next step. If this is a contact that you may need in the future but

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not at the moment, simply tell them that you enjoyed meeting them and hope to be able to talk again soon.

Business woman on phone

Many business professionals take networking too lightly. This is because they do not know how to network the right way. Networking is an art, especially in the Middle East. Therefore, practice your techniques until you can perform it flawlessly. Soon, you will find yourself networking almost instinctively, with a strong network regardless of where you are on your career path. Finding your next career in the Middle East will become a breeze!


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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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