The Next Step

Introduction

Your social networks say a lot about who you are. While being a teen you may create emails such as gamerkid4000@hotmail.ca or post some embarrassing photos and this is something you do not want when growing up and taking the next step in your life. Your life will begin to get very serious while you start looking for a career. You must make yourself look more professional and start to act like an adult. In this day and age, social media plays a big role in telling other who you are and having a good network is is a great way to start when taking the next step.

Networking using Linkedin and Facebook

LinkedIn Versus Facebook

LinkedIn and Facebook are both popular social networking websites. LinkedIn is business-orientated and mainly for professional networking while Facebook is created for the purpose of connecting to friends and family. LinkedIn contains a wide array of active candidates on their website making it far easier for recruiters to search for candidates. Facebook on the other hand, has nine hundred million unorganized, miscellaneous users. A user’s qualifications on Facebook are not easily identified as the qualifications on LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s organized format highlights a user’s qualifications making them much easier to recognize. To build a good network, LinkedIn would be the better way to go as it is much more professional than Facebook.

Understanding What a Network is

Having a good network of people is crucial to getting a job. A network is anyone you know/talk with. Your friends, family, people you play sports with, your co-workers, the people you go to school with; these are just some of the many people that can make up your network. When searching for a job most people go to the online resources (indeed, craigslist, wowjobs etc..). But it’s actually the people within your network that can help you the most get you a job in the field that you want. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools you have to getting a job because it’s not just the people in your network that is being told that you are looking for a job, it is also the people in your networks network that can help you find a job. Recent statistics show that 70 percent of jobs in the last 5 years have been found through networking.

How to Maintain a Good Network?

Maintaining a good network for some individuals can benefit their career down the path. There are many ways that someone can do so. One of the most important parts to maintaining a good network especially when pursuing a career job is by trying to be as professional as possible. You need to be continuously making new connections while at the same time nurturing the relationships you have. These are the steps to follow:

  1. Write.

Create a newsletter or e-zine as a source of regular communication with your network.  Include articles that are an easy read and provide value to the readership.  Keep an updated mailing list to ensure that your newsletter reaches your entire audience.

  1. Express.

Express thanks, congratulations and fond wishes. Remember to send birthday cards, holiday cards, thank you cards, etc.  This is a great way to show the members of your network you care while keeping a regular dialogue with them.

  1. Update.

Every time there is a change to your organization, your work status or your contact details, broadcast it.  Use these life changes as opportunities to remind your network that you are there.  

  1. Telephone.

Mass media like e-mail and newsletters are great for consistent communication.  But enduring business relationships require much more.  One way to stay in touch and build stronger bonds with your network is to commit to at least one call a week.  These are people you selected, you should enjoy them.  So take the 15 minutes to half an hour it takes each week to keep the network alive.

  1. Socialize.

A great way to build and nurture your network and help people build theirs is to host an event.  This can be a random event at your house or a recurring event at a chosen meeting place.  This will provide an informal way to get together and connect the members of your network with each other.  If each member brings a member of their network, it will also help to significantly expand yours. (Arruda, 2009)

“Networking is a two-way street, and you can be of assistance to the people you may ask for help someday by finding out what they are looking for in their careers or personal lives.” (Essortment, 2011). This is explaining how once an employee recognizes the likes and dislikes of another individual, there are many ways to improve your networking by assisting the person with things they are interested in and relating to them more.  

The following is an inspiring and influential video that will provide tips on how to have a strong network.

Bad Networking vs Good Networking

There are many benefits to having a network, you have the ability to share your knowledge. Having a good network gives you the opportunity to receive feedback, and having others view your opinions differently is a great asset. Networking successfully will strengthen many relationships and build foundations for you in the future. Networking results in opportunities, due the relationships that you would have built. By networking on a regular basis, and pushing yourself to communicate with people you are not familiar with, you will become more confident when dealing with others and expanding your platform. Another benefit of networking is raising your profile, people will begin to know you and building a reputation for yourself will not be as difficult.

Having an unsuccessful network can be detrimental to your image, a huge part of networking is how you present yourself and how other people see you. If you network incorrectly it can destroy your reputation. If you are not networking correctly it can lead to a lack of opportunities and a lack of interest in you. Connections will be difficult to make, a strong network make for strong connections and in the world of networking connections are everything. It is also very difficult to raise your profile if your network is not done properly, it might seem like you are unreliable, unprepared, or that you do not have useful information.

It is always good to have strong and professional network and being honest is one way to create that network. The following video will give tips on how to be in honest in your network without sounding fake.

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