Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Build Your Digital Relationships Before You Need Them

The old rules of professional networking translate to the online world as well. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “build your network before you need it.” Every single job search success story that I’ve heard stems from someone already having a network, tapping into that network, and then securing referrals and interviews from it. In this way, your online network is your only insurance policy against a layoff, and it is a bridge to new opportunities as well. On the other hand, if you choose to solely focus on job boards, newspaper ads, and job fairs, your job search will last five times as long. If you’re starting a business and you don’t have a large network, then you are at a big disadvantage and you’ll have to spend more time networking, when you could be investing in your business and serving customers.

Avoid networking at your own peril. You can’t afford to ignore online connections these days, especially when almost every first impression is created virtually, and people are more accessible than they have ever been. As you can see by the following statistics, building your network before you need to is timeless advice. If you have a network, especially an active one, it’s far easier to land your next big job, start or expand a business, or move up in a company.

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