By, Hipolito Navarrete, Managing Editor/Publisher
Let’s continue with the conversation about networking here is the dictionary definition; (to) interact with other people to exchange information and develop contacts, especially to further one’s career. Hopefully, you have considered some of the questions posted in our first conversation to help you get to know yourself a bit better. There are many reasons to be around people, in business, that is the best way to create connections that may lead to opportunities. Real opportunities only come through real people. It is tempting to do a lot of canvassing and post online because you have time to create your best profile, but people also need to know how you react and/or respond under pressure and in person. What are the things that you really, truly like to do? We are now entering a post social media connectedness era. We now know that many folks misrepresent themselves online, they create a persona that will allow us to see the best of them, even if that best is not real. That works fine for leisure and for family that already know we are doing well, and those pictures from our trip is a way to bring them with us. Those profiles are meant for an appearance that may be controlled and unsullied. At a face to face networking event or coffee meeting, folks do not have the opportunity to be as perfect as they can be on their Facebook profile, folks can’t just bellow out comments as they can through their Twitter account or make us feel warmth through their Instagram pictures. Most folks that you would want to meet for a career forward push, are already way ahead of those social media apps in figuring out if you have the skill set, or the potential in developing that skill set they need in order to join their corporation.
Networking is always tough because it also means that you are going to feel vulnerable to the judgment of others, and you are absolutely right. Even if you have a job and are looking for a new opportunity for whatever reason, there will always be that thought in the back of your mind that you need to cede to the attitude of other’s that might be able to “help you out.” Don’t fall into that predicament; your dignity must always be preserved. If you are in a position where you are already in a desperate situation, you need to shore up your situation through social support mechanisms or family. In order to avoid being so vulnerable that you will take anything that would be offered, in the long run, that would be a rough position to end up in. Everyone should have at least one day per month where you go out and network on purpose and strategically.
So now that we have discussed that you should be prepared to eventually be live-action, go into all your social media profiles and ask yourself, would I hire this person? You should make your profile very private, if that is feasible, if you do not want to have one of your family or close confidants eventually reveal something about you that you feel is private, purposefully or accidentally. People will be more intrigued by what they do not see, that is why its best to be transparent, if you do not want to be seen as hiding evidence of some unfavorable history.