It may appear contradictory that a person who is enrolled and finishing up on a certificate in Social Media for Business has little to no interest in Social Media on a personal level. I am of an older generation than many of the people in this course. I value my privacy and personal space but I am also very at ease and friendly with people. I am definitely more comfortable interacting and networking in real life situations and environments. I just find it easier to connect in person. But, I also understand the necessity of being social, and appearing social, online. Before starting my next business which will be an online store & blog, I plan to find employment working for a company or organization for at least a year.
From the job listings that I have perused so far, companies want practical experience, not just a certificate or diploma. I expect that setting up a personal LinkedIn page & presence will be beneficial to that end. I’m also toying with the idea of taking on some small contracts with local small businesses to build a portfolio. These contracts may even be pro bono to start, but they will provide me with a showcase for my ideas and work.
As far as developing a professional network in social media, I will develop my online brand and start to build a client list. This will give me something to show potential employers and equally important, I will get some practice and experience at analyzing companies, determining their objectives, and then working with them to develop strategies to achieve their goals. Who knows, if it goes well, I may just become an independent contractor and do the store & blog idea on the side. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Networking is primarily used to nurture relationships and used by many professionals across the world! I’ve been working as a fundraiser for the past 5 years and in my experience, Networking is a major piece of success.
When COVID-19 hit, the world was shaken and most learned fairly quickly that we needed to get creative on so many different levels to try and avoid disruptions. Networking was one of the many things I feel was impacted in the beginning of the pandemic.
Pre-covid, I was extremely comfortable participating in local networking events. In my local City, there are many different opportunities and I would try to make it to many of the networking gatherings that take place. When the pandemic hit, everything that used to take place suddenly stopped and as time continued to pass I caught myself not even thinking about networking.
My own personal opinion around networking in an online world is that it is difficult – not impossible, difficult. I believe that many may disagree and many may also prefer this version of networking. For me, a connection is based on many things but ultimately I like to see the sincerity of interactions, hearing the tone, see the behavior. I believe these are important pieces that are missed in an online world. While that is my personal opinion on it, I also know that this is part of evolving and now that the world is getting back to a new normal, I still believe online networking will have a serious impact and also continue to grow in the days, months and years to come.
Putting my own personal opinions aside, about 6-8 months ago, I started to feel some of the effects of not networking for at least 2 years and started utilizing LinkedIn as my go to online networking platform. It allowed me to re-engage with peers on a professional level.
Wishing you success in your upcoming endeavors, Melanie :).
Thank you so much for your view points and input. All the best to you too!