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Expert Speak: Your Net-Work is your Net-Worth

May 16, 2018 10:10 IST

If I ask you these questions-

  1. Which 3 words would you use to describe yourself when you first meet someone?
  2. Which 3 words would someone else use to describe you having just met you?

Do you have the answers right now? If no, think. If yes, look at your answers. Do they match? What is different? Why? Are you able to portray your real image to the person in front?

Let’s understand that the first step to building your personal brand is knowing yourself and your personality.Understanding your strengths and weaknesses allows you to start building your personal brand.

Whenever you present yourself to someone new, whether it is at an interview, the first day of a new job, meeting someone for the first time or in a more social setting, you have the opportunity to leave someone with a clear and positive impression.

In a career advancement context, “networking” is a process by which professionals establish meaningful relationships with one another. Networking is a two-way street; you do not just approach networking connections when you need something but the relationships you create must be nurtured and sustained over time.

Think of it as creating an invisible web of connections between you and other people with each end of this connection possessing information.This web will stay alive if you continue to feed it by making connections with others and maintaining those connections through continued interaction. If you make a connection, but stop interacting with it, that connection disappears and your web shrinks. The goal is to have a large, healthy and collaborative web of individuals to share information, and tap for assistance when necessary.

Most of us understand that networking and creating your unique personal brand is beneficial not only to businesses but individuals too.It is not only important to network during job hunting or looking for clients, but connecting with other professionals can help with every aspect of career development. So you must reach out to the right set of professionals not only in times of crisis; rather invest in these relationships throughout your career.

Having understood the importance of networking, let’s see how networking is actually done. Being in the digital world, here is what you can do to build your network using social media-

  1. Know your audience – Who do you need to reach out to in order to help you land a  or for mentoring or fundraising etc. Start following them and engage in conversations with them. Figure out what topics are of interest to them, blog, create videos and other relevant content for them.
  2. Build an effective profile – Have a professional photograph, create a brief description about yourself and demonstrate your expertise. Let people know what you are here for.
  3. Choose your channels - If you are making a career move, it is important for you to network with professionals on LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with the right audience. If you are in some creative business, you may use Instagram and Facebook.
  4. Contribute to the social networking community-  Networking is a 2 way process. Respond, share, like or comment to what you read and watch. Contribute frequently in your community to build a fan following and add value to your network. Acknowledge other’s work and extend help wherever you can.
  5. Take care of time–Social networking is a dynamic medium, new things and information keep coming every now and then. Respond and comment quickly on the announcements and events relevant to you. Set up alerts, keep an eye on trending topics and follow hashtags.
  6. Do not overshare – While social media has lots of benefits, but if you post a lot of information to appear busy, people may start losing interest in your posts. Post relevant and timely information.
  7. Do not go on a networking overdrive – In your excitement to connect with as many people as possible, do not go into a frenzy sending connection requests to every other person whether known or unknown. Frequent profile visits and random connection requests to other people’s friend list will only end up in you getting blocked. So choose your network wisely and stay professional at all times.
  8. Finally, be genuinely interested in others. Don’t network just for the sake of networking. Asking someone for a favour right after connecting or expecting an immediate favour after helping someone does not lead to meaningful and long-lasting connections. In many cases, a network connection made today will prove useful after years or through another mutual connection.

Follow these steps and you’ll see your network grow and eventually start working for you as your publicist. After all a survey reveals that 85% of all jobs and sales deals are closed via networking. Remember, it’s not who you know but it’s WHO KNOWS YOU. Let your net-work be your net-worth.

About the Expert:

Ms Piyush Mahajan is a certified life coach and soft skills facilitator. She has over 11 years of experience in the GeoSpatial industry where she worked as a senior data specialist. Having found her life’s calling, she gave up a promising career as a Data Specialist and decided to become a life skills coach.

DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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