Merriam-webster defines ‘networking’ as:
“the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business”
An ENFP( Extrovert, Intuitive, Feels, Perceptive) personality like myself loves nothing more than networking. The idea of meeting new people, hearing their opinions, their fresh ideas and useful advice is always welcome. When you are looking to get ahead in your career, networking is not just a hobby or pastime; it is a necessity. While some people are terrified of the idea of going to a networking event, which is essentially a room full of strangers that you have to speak to, there is always social networking. You can’t just go online and start talking to people all willy nilly. Here are just a few social media network protocols and how they can help you improve those skills that pay the bills.
One of the first steps to becoming a grown-up is making a free LinkedIn account. Even if you just graduated high school, it is never too soon to begin to create a professional page to put your experience on display. There are informative postings and updates by profile users and businesses that you may want to work with in the future. There are bountiful timeline updates to keep you inspired, knowledgeable and challenged to work at your full potential. If you are currently on the market for a new position, it would behoove you to sign up for a free trial of the Linkedin premium where you can see what jobs you have great chances of snagging, plus the opportunity to check out the competition. Keep that Linkedin updated as you gain new skills and reach new goals, for more information on how you can use Linkedin to find your dream job, check out this Forbes article.
Some people think of Facebook as just a place to go when you lose your phone and need to get in contact with family or friends, or as a place to post that delicious casserole recipe from Buzzfeed. But on Facebook, you have a network of educated, talented and like-minded individuals that have wise advice and connections that might land you your dream job. If you are more of an entrepreneur and trying to get your own business off the ground, you would be surprised to see how you can gain support and help get the word out about your ideas. If you can post an update asking what color you should dye your hair, surely you can spare the characters to ask if anyone has any leads on job openings.
Instagram is not only a place for selfies and to watch makeup videos (but let’s face it, we love those!), there are plenty of opportunities to network and build skills. From courses and seminars to networking meet-ups- the possibilities are endless. You are reading this article right now because back in 2015, (my how time flies) a young woman that went to high-school with me posted an opportunity on Instagram and I seized the opportunity. Even utilize the search option for hashtags such as #jobs #hiring #jobopening which have social media savvy recruiters uploading these frequently throughout the day. The next time you are scrolling your timeline and see a web-seminar or conference about your industry, take a second to check it out and send a direct message, asking for more information.
OKcupid/Plenty of Fish/Tindr etc
Now hear me out-I know these might seem like a stretch, but I have made some awesome connections on dating sites when I first relocated to NY. I added my industry and that I was looking to network in the “Big Apple” with like minded individuals. I searched for people who worked in similar industries and seemed to have similar interests. While people may lie about things regarding their height, weight, and/or the number of kids on dating profiles (to name a few), there are a few out there that are telling the truth. You may not find love on the dating site, but you may meet some of your peers that can help you navigate the industry in your city. Win-Win!
I promise I’m not trolling you with this one. There are plenty of hidden gems on Craigslist. I landed an interview with a very prestigious PR firm from an advertisement on Craigslist. My cousin found her position at a law firm from an ad she came across on Craigslist as well. Just like buying a couch on Craigslist, you should use discretion with any transaction that is generated via this website. There are golden opportunities to find jobs, industry events, and learning opportunities here. Take a look at this article from The Balance on applying to jobs on Craigslist for more tips. Just make sure you keep an eye out for a “foreign prince” asking you to wire some money before you apply.
Have you found a job opportunity on social networking sites? Have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comment section.