Networking is probably one of the most valuable tools a person can have in his or her toolbox. It can be used to find a job, collect information or even “vent” with a group of people who have had or are experiencing the same things that you are. For example: I belong to the online version of IAAP which is the International Association of Administrative Professionals. If I have a question related an office protocol issue or a software related issue, I know I can post the question in our Facebook group, and an answer will miraculously appear. The site also posts jobs in my field so if I want to switch positions in my field, I have some idea of what is available. Google may assist you in a search but there is nothing like person to person communication and advice to give you the best sources for information. No matter how good the Internet is, I believe people are always better. After all, people know people who know people who know people, well, you get the point!
Of course, LinkedIn is probably the most well-known networking sites. You can post as much or as little information as you want in the site. You can also upgrade to a premium paid service. I will say that when I first created my LinkedIn account, I received so much spam that I actually sent them an email complaining about it.
I have bookmarked several blogs that I feel offer beneficial information for me. One of these is MindTools.com. They offer lots of information on topics related to the workplace particularly in the areas of leadership and communications. Another one of my favourite sites is called foliotek.com. It is an online portfolio site. It is awesome – you can collect and post all sorts of information and share it with whomever you choose for the amount of time you choose. If you can use Word, or PowerPoint, or create a simple webpage, this is a great site for you. These are professional sites that I use all the time and will continue to use because of what they offer me. I love opportunities like this one where we can share our knowledge and build on it as others share as well.
My Facebook network consists of three groups – two of these are dog-related groups and one is the IAAP site. Yes, sometimes I am one of those people who like their dogs more than people! Hehehe.
These groups are invaluable –we share information about food, about vaccinations, about holistics. We share “stuff” and we even talk about poop! However, I am still a little reluctant to join too many groups. I do get concerned about data mining and its implications in my world. The more you expose yourself, the more exposed you become. Here is a site with some online networking tips – it is an interesting read but I do think some of the tips are obvious.
There are people I follow and respond to on Twitter – some of them are for inspiration and some are personal friends whose pictures I enjoy. I respond with likes or comments just to let them know that I am following and interested in what they are saying. I really believe that networking, whether it is online or in a traditional manner is for everybody. What’s in your networking toolbox? What are your most valuable networking tools?
Facebook: Is Networking still beneficial? Read my thoughts at: http://bit.ly/2wQsjWD
Twitter: What is in your Networking toolbox? #Spread the word #Networking rocks #Who is in your network #people who know people