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Networking means “working over a network”. The concept comes from IT, where a network consists of a set of computers and management programs that are connected together for the purpose of sharing resources and exchanging information. Similarly, among humans networking is the exchange of knowledge between two or more people, to facilitate the processes of work.
Imagine everybody on earth could share human knowledge with the maximum possible freedom and accessibility” Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia founder)
In the world of business, contacts have always been used as a means of communication and obtaining details. Through this, recruitment managers saw the potential for hiring new candidates. Similarly, jobs are frequently advertised by word-of-mouth and contacts are therefore considered to be a valid job hunting channel.
Networking though is not simply knowing people and getting what you can out of them; it is also helping them to be successful too. It means being generous with the time that you give to other people and establishing relationships on the basis of “give and take”. Thus, more than a way of working, some people consider it to be a general philosophy and extrapolate it to all aspects of their life.
In short, networking is a work-related tool that can be used as part of the process of professional improvement, as a way of learning about the job market and even as a direct channel for finding work.
Having good relationships with the people you work with is essential for the process of professional improvement – whether this relates to doing things better or changing job or industry. Furthermore, knowing people outside your immediate work environment helps expand your perspective of what you do, and what you could do, professionally, learning and staying up-to-date with new subjects, technologies and ways of working as well as locating resources and people that may be of help in your career development.
The best professionals, beyond using their technical or personal competencies according to each situation, know how to apply these effectively, and mix and match them to achieve their objectives. In other words, they make the most of their competencies because they are able to balance the specific knowledge they have of their working area with the relationship that they have with their environment.
There are basically two different types of methods for establishing and maintaining contact:
- Physical networking: This is the most common type of networking given that it occurs naturally. We all interact face-to-face with people that we meet in our daily lives.
- Virtual networking: This form of networking has developed as a result of new technologies being incorporated into our daily lives. This can be done by telephone, by sending e-mails to contacts, or by taking part in web 2.0 applications, such as wikis, forums, virtual communities and so on.
In developing relationships with other people, most of us combine the two methods. The factors that determine which channel of communication is selected for each situation is dictated more by physical (time and distance) and social (level of relationship and trust) factors rather than psychological matters (the person’s communication style).
- Enables the message being communicated to be backed up by non-verbal communication
- Closer and more natural
- The other person’s reactions are seen immediately
- Requires finding the right time and place
- Requires a proactive attitude and social skills
- The ability to communicate anywhere and at any time
- Focus on the message to be communicated
- Enables contact with people that we would not otherwise know
- Lack of non-verbal communication to back up the message (can lead to misunderstandings)
- Requires technological devices (telephone, computer, etc.)
- Communication may be slow and may not even go in both directions
Digital identity and social wealth. Digital article that discusses the loss of digital identity with a change in professional career; how we can adequately manage contacts with our surroundings; and the importance of our digital identity within our self-concept.
Design your “Twitter Pitch” and get ready to find work . Digital article. Post about how to put together a summary of your profile and what you are looking for when using on Twitter. Although these tips are applicable to any other networking activity.
Google yourself before you are Googled. Digital article about the importance of online reputation for recruiters.
The eight habits of highly effective bloggers. Digital article about the habits that a blogger needs to be highly effective and even turn their blogs into a source of income.
Web 2.0 and networking, essential for finding work. Digital article that brings together the main contributions made by different experts during the session”Improve your career through networking” organised by Porta22 in collaboration with XING and AERC.
Key things you need to do to avoid losing control of your social network .Useful tips to bear to use Internet-based social networks.
Plaxo.com.Online application that synchronises social networks with e-mail and automatically updates details’contacts and what they have published on the internet.
Networking Activo Magazine. Digital magazine.Complimentary to the social network and blog Networking Activo; this is a publication that covers all types of news, events and articles about networking.
TwitterJobSearch.com. Search engine for job adverts using Twitter. Search for potential work based on keywords and filter results by date, salary and required skills.
Jobsket.es. Website that combines employment portals and social networks. Its main appeal is that when candidates publish their CV, the value of their profile can be calculated, based on parameters such as the companies that they have worked at, their experience, and their professional skills competencies.