Why is it that people still believe that the only time they need to network is when they are looking for a job? These same people also believe that the art of networking is telling someone you know that you are out of work and asking them if they know of anyone who is hiring. I would agree that word of mouth is the best referral, but using this tactic is not the way to gain friends and influence people!
I see something daily about social media the likes of LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook and Twitter. Let’s face it we are a technology driven world. Where some want to resist using some or all of these means to network, others are using them in the wrong way, but more on that in another posting. People need to understand that networking is staying connected. It means taking an interest in what others are doing. It is building and fostering relationships. Back in the good old days you knew everyone in your town. You sat at the corner cafe and talked for hours. Now a days we use technology and tweet, text, email and SKYPE. Why? All to stay connected.
If you are using any of the social media as a means to simply gather lists of names or followers, then you have missed the point. Remember quality not quantity. The other item to remember about networking is reciprocity. President Kennedy said it well when he stated “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Networking is the same. It is not only what others can do for you, but what can you do to help others. Perhaps you know of the perfect person to fill a position that they have vacant. Or you know of a great technology wizard that can help them with the computer problems, or a book, article or publication that they would like to read to stay engaged in their own careers.
If you would like to know how many people now use social media sites, click here. or click here for more information. Staying engaged with people is part of our fabric of life. Use these social media sites with care and build your network with the intent of staying engaged for the betterment of all.