Networking Skills

We live in an interconnected world with the internet. People can send a message and get an instant connection. Because of this, it seems that traditional networking has gone by the wayside. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Social media is a great avenue for people to exchange ideas and meet new contacts. But, it never will have the same power as a face-to-face meetup with someone. Communication is at its strongest when two people can see each other. People learn more about others in a few seconds of in-person contact than they ever could with a strictly online one.

Another point to remember is that online people may not be who they say they are. Think about how easy it is to create an online persona. People are capable of being anyone they want online. That means the connections you make could be phony, which won’t help you when asking people to help you.  Networking is about engaging with others and a certain give-and-take involved in the exchange.

Online connections do have their place. They can be a great starting point in the networking hierarchy of events. They can be a great way to hook up with people who you would never have using traditional means. However, as specified, you need to take the exchange further and try to arrange an in-person meeting. The contact gives people confirmation that the people you connected with are real. It’s the reason why people often use the phrase, “it’s nice to put a face with the name.”

If you don’t believe that in-person meetups are important, ask yourself how many online-only connections have become your friends. It’s likely to be a small number and even more likely to be none. While you won’t become friends with everyone you meet face-to-face, the number will most likely be larger than online-only connections.

It’s not practical to meet face-to-face with every person you connect with online. Some people live far from you. However, people should not treat the internet as the only way to connect with others. A great way to use the internet for networking is to use websites like Meetup.com. You can find people that have similar interests to your own and attend meetings. You can even create meetups yourself if a group doesn’t currently exist on the website.

There is no magic formula for networking, although some techniques may work better than others. Using face-to-face connections is one technique that should yield better results than a purely cyber strategy.

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