Many circumstances have changed for the worker over the last several years as we’ve seen the evolution into Workforce 7.0 come to be. One thing that remains an important part of doing business is the social aspect. Just because more work is taking place remotely doesn’t mean face-to-face networking goes out the window.
To the contrary; it is perhaps more important than ever to build a focused personal brand with which to successfully network and expand your personal horizons and professional offerings. Below are a few thoughts on how to make the most out of networking in Workforce 7.0.
Meet people face-to-face. Just because things are changing and digital tools are becoming a critical part of many jobs, that does not erase the importance of face-to-face interaction. Go to industry-related network events in your city and conferences in your region. Go armed with a plan and a specific goal. Want to get one new lead? Talk to 10 people? Whatever it is, make it concrete and take it seriously. First impressions really are important, especially in a face-to-face environment.
Use social media. That said, you are definitely missing out on a valuable 24/7 networking opportunity if you’re not using social media. LinkedIn and Twitter especially represent good opportunities to tap into the professional communities you are a part of or interested in. You can share pieces of content that your audience is likely to find interesting and even start your own blog to share your perspective. Remember that everything you do online is visible and hard to make go away. Don’t post anything that doesn’t add to your professional reputation.
Listen more than you talk. If you want to do more than scratch the surface in almost any face-to-face interaction you have, it’s a great rule of thumb to listen about twice as much as you talk. Ask questions that lead toward the next step. Engage with the other person’s passions and add a little fuel to their fire, if you can. At the same time, don’t forfeit your own turn to talk. It’s crucial that you have time to discuss some of what makes you special and what you’re interested in.
As much as some of the dynamics of work have changed in the past several years, the basics of networking remain much the same. There are just more tools for you to use and your reputation extends into the digital world. Have specific questions or concerns about networking? Reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.