If you watch the period drama series Mad Men on AMC, you’re afforded a unique look back at the culture of business as it was in the 1960s. And aside from all of the changing social mores and antiquated office policies that were characteristic of that period in American history, one thing that stands out about how business relationships and opportunities were created in those days was that your “network” of business peers was seemingly made up of those you met for lunch at noon, cocktails after hours, and golf on the weekends. This was how business was conducted.
Obviously, the demands placed on corporate America have changed over the decades that followed the 1960s. Productivity is up. Personal time is down. There is often little time to do the “meet and greet” with peers and associates. And even though face time is still as valuable today as it was decades ago, it’s fortunate that we have social media and social networks and a host of high-tech mobile devices to keep us in touch with everything and everyone around us. And for job seekers who know how to build and leverage the power of networks, it can make periods of unemployment much shorter.
Truly, social networks and the development of the wireless mobile device have created more networking and business opportunities than most experts in the industry can even begin to measure. Even from a professional staffing agency perspective – where the primary focus is putting qualified job seekers in touch with hiring managers trying to fill positions – it’s a well known fact that professional networks built and developed by the job seeker are an asset to the hiring process. How can that be? Good question!
In the many decades prior to the advent of social media and social networks, finding employment often came down to “who you know” in business. Perusing the classified ads on Monday morning and printing résumés on fine linen paper were never as powerful a job hunting tool as actually knowing someone inside a company looking to hire. Now, job seekers have a significant advantage through business networking sites such as LinkedIn because their network is made up of who they know in business as well as who their direct connections know. It’s the multiplier effect at work in social media. Suddenly, 60 personal connections on LinkedIn (which is an average number) are worth hundreds of thousands of second- and third-party connections. But it only works if you work it.
Are you building a network of business associates? You should be. The Law of Abundance states that there are plenty of jobs to be had, plenty of career opportunities to choose from, and plenty of income to be put in the bank. But you’re not likely to tap into these opportunities if you try to go it alone. Your network has far-reaching hooks into businesses of all kinds – many of which you’ve probably never considered for employment opportunities.
Participate. Network. Build. Reap the benefits. Social networking is the new “virtual cocktail hour” for you and your new-found business associates. Don’t be late.
This article brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that offers temporary and permanent employment placement.