Wow! How did we get to the end of April so fast? And how is it that I haven’t blogged all month? I thought a perfect way to end April would be to talk a little about why networking is so important. If I’m being honest, networking takes time (and energy), it really doesn’t matter if you’re an extrovert or an introvert, it’s all about what you give to build your network. The thing is, networking is so important to your professional and personal growth. You are expanding your horizons and creating opportunities you never knew existed. And with social media, networking has taken a front row seat. In many ways it is where a connection begins.
I’ll share a little fact; I wasn’t always active on social media, particularly with LinkedIn and Twitter. I had an account and profile on each, and in early 2017, I became more active on LinkedIn. Then earlier this year, I stepped up my activity on Twitter. I’ve met some pretty awesome people in my profession (and outside my profession). I’ve been inspired by so many stories and have learned to share my own story. Because I believe and as the quote goes, “every success story starts with a dream”.
When it comes to networking, network because you want to create something positive. Network because you want to continue learning and share ideas. Not because you’re job searching (or have a requisition to fill). When you network for the greater good, the possibilities are endless. You create opportunities for yourself and for others.
Let’s look at three ways to start networking, today:
1) Take a look at your LinkedIn profile. When was the last time you posted an update or shared an update from one of your connections? Find an article online that you think might help someone within your network, and share it. Say why you are sharing it and tag someone who you think can benefit from the article.
2) Are you on Twitter? If not, you really are missing out. If you are, think of how you use Twitter. Do you follow contacts within your industry? Search hashtags specific to your industry (or those outside your industry) and start following people. For example, if you’re in HR, search #HRTribe and you’ll find lots of awesome HR pros! Look for Twitter chats or create a Twitter chat. Twitter can be a great extension to your LinkedIn profile.
3) Get out and socialize. Get to know the people behind the profile. One and two were about engaging and beginning the conversation. Attend networking events in your local area. There are #LinkedInLocal events popping up all over the world, and this is a great way to start getting outside the social media platform to learn more about your connections and make new ones!
“The goal should be to build real relationships, not fill a contact list.” – Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO.
I hope this blog post will inspire you to build your own network, or enhance the one you already have. Happy Networking!
Originally posted on Pocketful of Chelles blog.