Nowadays, when the Internet governs people's lives, the above question is quite pertinent. Everyone is virtually connected through social networks for different purposes, but perhaps the most important of them is the one that keeps professional contacts.
Normally, when we have been working for a long time in the same company, with a certain stability and I would even say comfort with the area of activity and their respective functions, we put aside our concern to remain active in the exchange of experiences about careers in the networks.
But this is not recommended by experts. Especially in the last few months when the economic crisis hit the country and affected the jobs of many people, including those who were quiet without fear of needing a replacement, it became clear that the so-called networking is very important.
Imagine staying for years working in the same company and, suddenly, in the midst of the crisis and unemployment, being laid off and finding yourself in the midst of so many other thousands of unemployed in search of a replacement? Competitiveness is high and, therefore, only a good resume is not always enough. Having contacts at this time is extremely valuable.
Linkedin, which is the largest social network for professional contacts in the world, has reached and has already surpassed the mark of 500 million users and has more than 10 million active job openings, according to the company itself. In other words, it is a huge opportunity for anyone looking for a replacement. But, you need to have an updated profile, follow as many companies as possible and, above all, have a large group of connections.
Although the tool is valuable, its proper functioning requires a certain amount of time and availability. Imagine someone who is out of the social network, becomes unemployed and needs to start his contact group from scratch? This doesn't happen overnight and you also need to be assertive in connections, without sending out invitations to everyone. On the other hand, if you have been feeding this social network for some time, especially when you were at the peak of your career, with stability in your position, the situation is quite different.
Networking also has rules and etiquette. It's too bad, for example, that you only ask for a connection or even invite a contact for a coffee only when you're unemployed. It is an unpleasant and unappreciated attitude. You should try to keep relationships up to date and resume the exchange of ideas regularly. The best time to create new professional relationships is always when you are working because you have a lot to exchange and your visibility is different.
But, it is not only in a virtual way that networking takes place. The more traditional way of making new contacts, which is in person, is still very much worth it. And this happens, above all, when you participate in courses, specializations, lectures and workshops in your area or related. These are great opportunities because it is possible to meet people in the market, exchange experiences and be noticed.
Taking an MBA and GBA, for example, does not only add training to the curriculum, but expands the professional's group of conviviality and the exchange of experiences. It is even possible to take these courses abroad virtually, in renowned institutions, which brings a very valuable cultural and technical background. When choosing which one to do, it is important not only to look at the duration and amount to be invested, but mainly the potential contribution that this specialization can bring to form an interesting network of contacts.
Interpersonal relationships are extremely important for anyone who wants to have a successful career. The more well-oiled your network of contacts, the better your chances of being relocated in a difficult time, or even of taking new flights when you want to take on different challenges.
Danielle Marin is an Associate at HR Consultant UK, working in national and international consultancies focused on the corporate market in project management and consulting at the executive level and business negotiation using Coaching and NLP techniques.
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