As the blog touched on last week, social networks have made networking and connecting with people easier than ever. However, not so long ago, networking took place in-person and was initiated with a handshake. The Wednesday 10 is the epitome of old-school networking. Young professionals, just getting their feet wet in the workplace, organizing meetings in order to broaden their knowledge and influence, seeking the common goal of professional success.
So we now ask, “do today’s social networks provide the same benefits and support as good old-fashioned in-person connections?”
Today’s social networks would say, “if you cultivate your network thoughtfully, it shouldn’t matter whether you met someone through social media or at an event”. We agree, but there are basic principles to remember for establishing meaningful connections in the technology era:
- Do not let tools do all the work for you — to maintain connections you need to put in work to establish and keep relationships.
- Do not overlook the “little guys” — find connections where you can be mutually beneficial to each others goals.
The goal and purpose of networking is often overlooked when making connections online. Networking, either via old-school or new-school methods, should provide an opportunity to make meaningful connections that add value for all parties involved. Take a lesson from the Wednesday 10, engage with people outside your area of expertise because you never know how their experience and influence could impact your world.