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Home > Audio, Podcast > Personal networking isn’t optional anymore

Personal networking isn’t optional anymore

February 29th, 2008
[audio:http://welchwrite.com/career/audio/2008/career-op-20080229.mp3]

Listen: Personal networking isn’t optional anymore

Career Opportunities podcast logoPersonal networking isn’t optional anymore

Facebook. MySpace. Twitter. LinkedIn, Plaxo. Pownce and a hundred others. We are inundated with social networks these days with more being created every week. As with any new trend, there are the detractors that bemoan the loss of “real” friends to the passing acquaintances of online “friends.” Whatever you might think about the usefulness of social networking sites, it becomes clearer every day, to me, that personal networking, facilitated by online tools, isn’t optional anymore. If you want to raise your career to new highs and reap the benefits of serendipity that they provide, you have to engage with these services. Yes, you can do it on your own terms, but I urge you to do it, today.

Even as a techno-geek of the highest degree, I have never been one to jump, willy-nilly, onto every high-tech bandwagon that came along. While I do make a point of checking new services as they appear, if I can’t find a way to integrate it into my work and life, it quickly falls by the wayside. That said, the services being created today seem more useful than any others I have used in the past. I am finding new ways to use these services to improve my career, my business and my life. While it might be difficult to think about how the constant jabbering on Twitter might be useful, I am starting to see rewards from this particular service already.

Twitter: An Example

When I first signed up for Twitter (http://twitter.com) I was unsure of how it would integrate into my work and what value it might provide. As I added a few friends, I began to enjoy staying in touch with friends and colleagues even though they might be scattered all over the world. It was like we were running into each other in the break room. As you might imagine, it wasn’t long before useful information started to flow along the Twitter lines. We could ask questions of one another, almost as if we were raising our heads above the cubicle walls in an office, and get immediate responses. We could find out when others were in town, where they might be and whether they might like to get together for lunch.

Just yesterday, I got an important confirmation of just what Twitter, and other social networks could do for me. A fellow Twitterbud put out the call for information on people who create mortgage advice and information on the Internet. As it so happens, I produce a show for my friend, Rick Gundzik, entitled Mortgages Made Simple. I respect Rick deeply, as he has the same philosophy about sharing great mortgage information as I do about sharing career and high-tech info. I replied to my Twitter friend with information about the show. It so happens that this Twitter friend was being interviewed by a major NPR show and was looking for examples of great online resources. Directly through Twitter, I had now made a connection that could very possibly result in a wonderful PR opportunity. Without Twitter, though, it is very likely that I would never have known about the opportunity.

The more connections we make, both deep and shallow, offer more opportunities for serendipity to occur.

The truth is, you have to engages in social networks like Twitter, because you have no idea who might lead to your next great success. Serendipity happens only when we allow it. The more connections we make, both deep and shallow, offer more opportunities for serendipity to occur. You are simply increasing the odds by increasing the numbers of people you are aware of and who are aware of you. Even better, engaging in social networks takes no money. Sure there is the time involved in getting started with the networks, but that quickly settles down as you establish links to most of your face-to-face and close online friends.

Are you doing everything you can to reach out to those around you, no matter where they might be geographically located? If not, you are limiting your effectiveness and limiting the ability of serendipity to work its magic. Online social networking is no longer optional. You need to engage with these new tools and allow them to connect you to an entirely new world of possibilities.


Next Friday: March 7, 2008: The answer lies somewhere in-between


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