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Executives' Top Networking Mistakes
CFOs Say Biggest Fail is Not Asking for Help

MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 18, 2017 -- Networking poses potential pitfalls, even for those at the peak of their profession. What's the top mistake executives make? According to CFOs in a Robert Half Management Resources survey, it's not asking for help from their network (30%). The No. 2 blunder, respondents reported, is failing to keep in touch or reaching out only when they need something (23%).

CFOs were asked, "Which one of the following is the greatest networking mistake executives make?" Their responses:

Not asking for help


Failing to keep in touch or reaching out only when they need something


Failing to connect with the right people


Not thanking contacts when they provide help


Not helping others




"Don't be afraid to ask for help," said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "We all need guidance from time to time, and people are usually happy to offer support when they can."

Hird added, "Business is changing so rapidly, no one has all the answers or expects others to. Executives need a robust network, including mentors, peers, staff-level contacts, and experts from within and outside the company, to stay on top of trends, best practices and opportunities. To accomplish this, make sure you serve as a resource for your connections, too."

Robert Half Management Resources offers questions for executives to answer to gain more confidence when reaching out to their network:

  • What do I want? Clearly define the support you need. Providing specifics enables contacts to determine how they can assist you and recommend additional resources.
  • What can I offer? Identify ways to help your contacts, such as sharing job leads or industry research. You'll be more confident making a request if you assist others.
  • What's next? Networking should be an ongoing process, but it doesn't always need to be formal. Sending a quick email or forwarding an article of interest keeps connections active. Asking for help is less awkward if you stay in touch.

Additional networking advice for executives is on the Robert Half blog.

About the Research
The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by an independent research firm. It is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

About Robert Half Management Resources
Robert Half Management Resources is the premier provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals for companies' project and interim staffing needs. Customizing its approach for each organization, Robert Half Management Resources can provide a single consultant, a financial team or full-service consulting services, delivered through Protiviti, a Robert Half subsidiary. With more than 140 locations worldwide, Robert Half Management Resources works with companies of all sizes, including more than half of the top 100 companies from the FORTUNE 500®. For more information, visit


SOURCE Robert Half Management Resources

For further information: Michael Weiss, (925) 913-2645,