“Trends come and go all the time, but style endures.” The style of networking: an age-old way to connect with people (unrelated to you), has come around and how. Lately, Millenials have started to prefer connecting with people online rather than in the traditional way, i.e., face-to-face. They initiate or build a relationship in the virtual space before meeting in person; sometimes they don’t even end up meeting each other.
Thanks to the wide variety of social networking sites available. Millennials believe they’ll form a better professional camaraderie online than in person at structured events. Via social networking, one connects with people they admire, like or look up to for the sake of furthering their career. The relationship is strictly professional, instead of sharing thoughts on personal interests, they keep it strictly to work-related matters.
However, keep in mind how annoying, forced networking can get. We’ve compiled a list of things we’d suggest that you must consider when networking online.
#1. Two-way street communication
This relationship is purely a give and take. Both the parties have a common intention – to further their career. However, remember that – what goes around comes around!
So, the more you’ll help someone in your network, it’ll (help) will come back to you in times of need. So, don’t just sit around and act selfishly. I would advise that you start networking everywhere and anywhere, and help as many. Be vocal, give your opinion or compliments on their achievement, and be involved as much as you can.
#2. Find a mentor
Thanks to all these social media platforms, it has become possible to approach people who you look up to professionally. You can either send them an invitation to connect or reach out directly and seek professional help and guidance. Tell them, how valuable their advice can be to you and how you would love to talk to them and hear about their professional journey over a cup of coffee.
#3. Open to multi-tasking opportunities/communities
The best way to kick start networking is to join an online community – where you’ll connect with like-minded people via podcasts, forums, work out/training or offline events. For introverts, this strategy can be a big booster as it diminishes any awkwardness and helps them warm up to make a few connections, thanks to the shared interests. More so, most of them (millennials) are either married or have children, so leverage on a common bond – parenting. Schedule occasional outings, play-dates for the young ones in order to relate on a personal level and strengthen your personal and professional relationship and network, simultaneously.