Dream Big; Live Bigger

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Professional Networking: Benefiting Bonuses February 17, 2013

Filed under: Personal Learning Network Project: Deliverables — Angela @ 10:35 PM

I’ve discussed a few reasons why networking is essential to today’s professionals. Closely linked to reasons are benefits. You would hope that something that requires so much effort would come with some kind of benefit. Well, great news! Networking most definitely comes with benefits!

After picking apart the myriad of sites boasting this benefit of networking or that benefit of networking, I finally chose some of my favorite benefits. It is my intention that these listed benefits will inspire you to start (or continue) your networking journey. Just to keep my sources straight, I will list the benefits under which site I found them.

1. Business Brain Storming Business Brain Storming

  • Improving Self-confidence: Meeting new people on a frequent basis allows you to grow more comfortable in your own skin and more skilled in conversing with others.
  • Finding a Mentor: Networkers often meet other networkers who’ve been in the field for many years and know what it takes to succeed. Occasionally, a bond will be form between the two, and years of knowledge will be given to the younger networker.
  • Meeting New Friends: Networking is not merely adding people to your contact list; it is forming friendships. Remember, to treat the people you meet as friends and not as a means to climb the success ladder.

2. Jimi Jones

  • Making Connections: While you will meet many amazing people you will grow to love, sometimes these people will know other people they will want to connect you with. The more people you know, the bigger the circle of possible connections grows.
  • Increasing your Internet Presence: The more people you connect with and reach out to, the more traffic is directed back to your site, product, or business. By reaching out, you are really reeling people in at the same time.

 

Small Business BC

3. Small Business BC [British Columbia]

  • Raising your Profile: This extends beyond increasing traffic to your site. Networking helps expand your overall knowledge and helps you establish yourself as an authority in the field and causes your customers to respect you.
  • Finding Opportunities: One networking will lead to another and another and another. Filling up your calendar with social events can help you fill your bank account down the road.
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Professional Networking: Identifying Importance

Filed under: Personal Learning Network Project: Deliverables — Angela @ 9:52 PM

Most of us understand that it is not enough to have a sparkling resume to land a dream job. Landing the perfect job really comes down to networking. While landing a job is one of the most popular reasons people network, there are numerous other reasons why networking is important.

Networking Coach’s founder Jan Vermeiren lists over 20 reasons why networking is important. Some of the reasons he cited in his blog post that particularly stuck out to me are as follows:

  • “Enrichment in every possible way:” Networking provides opportunities to gain exposure to other people and their life experiences, which has the potential to enrich your life in unexpected ways.
  • “Knowing about new trends:” With how quickly our world changes, it is sometimes difficult to keep up-to-date about current affairs both in the world at large as well as specific to your profession.
  • “Getting another perspective:” As you meet new people, you are able to see things through their eyes. This may help you come up with new solutions to old problems.

This is just a few of the many great reasons Jan shared in regards to reasons to network. The reasons are truly endless, and I’ll discuss more about the benefits that accompany those reasons in another post soon.

 

Professional Networking: Staying Social February 14, 2013

Filed under: Personal Learning Network Project: Deliverables — Angela @ 1:41 PM

Finding ways to network online is becoming more and more popular. I realized that good ol’ Facebook is probably not the best way to network unless you have a strictly business profile (which, many people have duplicate accounts- that’s another blog post for another time). Facebook is more closed than other sites.

An example of an open site is definitely Twitter. The awesome thing about Twitter is that users can search for virtually anyone or anything on Twitter. If someone is an accountant, they can search for other accountants, accounting firms or agencies, or accountant conversations (after all, it is tax season- then again, accountants might be too busy to discuss much on Twitter!).

One of the most popular sites on the Internet currently is Pinterest. It is by far one of my favorite sites. It is similar to Twitter in that it is an open site; content is easy to search and find. It is less conversational than Twitter, opting to communicate mostly through pictures that users find and pin to various boards.

As you can see, networking and being social online is never going to fade away. It is time to join sites you never thought you’d consider. It is time to get a little uncomfortable as you reach out to other networkers. Whatever your passionate about, I can almost guarantee that there is a group out there somewhere discussing that very thing. It might require some digging, but seek out people who share your interests, hobbies, and/or profession. After all, it is always nice to have a support group in place who can understand and relate what you might be experiencing.

 

 

 

Professional Networking: Blogging Buddies February 12, 2013

Filed under: Personal Learning Network Project: Deliverables — Angela @ 1:29 PM

While it is true that surfing websites is not enough to be a successful networker, there are certainly websites out there that are excellent places to begin your networking journey.

sitepoint-logoOne site that I found especially helpful is called sitepoint. The actually website was a bit difficult to navigate, but I found an article posted on there a few months ago linking to 20 networking sites for business professionals. I thought this was a great read simply because I had never heard of these sites, and I was intrigued to see what resources were available for professionals to network online.

Aaccountempsnother site I found beneficial is Accountemps. Although they are primarily a staffing company for accounting and bookkeeping professionals, they also have dedicated a few pages on their website to networking.

Surfing sites is a great place to start to learn about the networking world, but bloggers have really taken the reins on this topic. Many of these bloggers are professionals who have can speak with authority and knowledge about networking and the many challenges and benefits that arise from networking.  Followimh blogs is not enough to improve your networking skills. Comment on blogs; have dialogue with the bloggers; that’s how you network and build community. It might be a little odd at first, but it will get easier. Many bloggers actually love feedback and crave comments. I’ll share a few of my favorite bloggers that I followed below and why I think they provide many insights about networking.

  • The Biz Parlor: This is a truly delightful, informative blog. Its focus is business insights and discussions, but the author, Martha Ware, also discusses social media and marketing along with her ideas and thoughts about the business world. One of her posts was especially eye-opening; she discussed the difference between networking and merely adding contacts. Networking is not just meeting peoplel; it is forming a connection.
  • Marketingfocus’s Blog: This blog is manned by Rich Lewis of Burlington Press, NJ. He described networking as a means of human contact. He expressed that human have a need and a desire for other human contact in this post. He explained that networking is simply building bridges.
  • Rachel Dorsey: Rachel posts articles about everything from inspiring stories to networking adivce. In one of her recent posts, she shared some insider’s tips into the mind of top networkers. Her main three take-aways were “ask, be there, and cards.” It’s important to network; you might as well start with your friends. Go out of your comfort zone and attend new events, mixers, or social parties. Wherever you go, have some business cards with you for connections who you want to remember you.

Rachel Dorsey

Networking can be as fun or as tedious as you make it. Start out online, but take your networking activities with you. In other words, always be ready to network- even at the grocery store!