Business Networking Strategies for Newbies


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Most professionals interested in Madison Who's Who membership are probably not just out of college. However the business networking advice in this article is good for anyone new to social networking for business, on-line, or off-line...

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Business Networking Strategies for Newbies

  1. 1. Posts of Madison Who's Who Business Networking Strategies for Newbies 2008-10-26 17:10:34 by Dan English Most professionals interested in Madison Who’s Who membership are probably not just out of college. However the business networking advice in this article is good for anyone new to social networking for business, on-line or off-line… Graduating from college can be a frightening experience. An unknown 9-to-5 world, student loan debt, and nearly insurmountable competition all add up to a collegiate hangover that won’t go away. Fret not college graduates. There is some good news. Eventually, you will realize that the big bad marketplace is made up of people, the same kind of people that sat next to you in your Economics class, the same kind of people who nervously crammed for Applied Theory finals. Cracking the code and making the transition from college friends to business contacts is as simple as business networking. Following are a few business networking strategies for newbies. Join focused networking groups Don’t be tempted to go out and join every professional group that you can find. Be a bit selective about your applications. While you may think that adding your name to the rolls of every organization is the surest first step, you need to realize that you cannot possibly afford the time investment required to mine each of them for their true value. There is no point in joining a group for inclusion’s sake. No credit is given for the most mentions. Seek a few top placements Don’t just jump on the business bandwagon and be hauled toward backroom obscurity by organizations that will accept anyone with a pulse who is fortunate enough to scrape together the meager membership dues. Seek out recognized and respected groups in your industry, those who are known to be more selective in their membership makeup. The credibility that you gain from these few successful introductions can be exponentially more important that the two-page addendum list that you offer in the appendix section of your resume. Inclusion in these distinguished directories means opportunity, opportunity to meet the top talent in your field, and can truly open doors that were otherwise closed to the academic outcast with “no relevant experience”. Be active in your member organizations Don’t just pay your money and sign the registry. Unlike high school year books, popularity is not preserved in the pages of the publication. It is the events and meetings that provide the opportunity to get close to those who can best benefit your pending career. Be active in those groups to which you have wisely chosen to pledge yourself. Go to the mixers; read the newsletters; maintain casual contact with targeted members as appropriate. Remember the good news. It’s all about people. Your name scribed in black and white does you no good if you don’t give it a person and personality. The point of networking is to know and be known. This can’t be accomplished in your tiny apartment kitchen. Go your own way As you infiltrate the various groups, you will begin to notice coincidental specialized interests among certain members. Take the initiative to start your own informal (or formal should you be so ambitious) group with other newbies and a few trusted mentors. This has been the basis for many of yesterday’s most promising startups, now today’s most storied corporate successes. Remember that everyone, even the greatest corporate moguls, were once in your lowly position. Band together to serve a common purpose greater than yourself and you have taken perhaps the greatest shortcut to networking success. One caveat here: while you want your group to be focused, you don’t need it to be exclusive. As you lack the professional experience to differentiate at this point (no offense), you cannot afford to isolate your fledgling new business networking group from untapped potential. Let interest and personality be the key qualifications for invitation. You Are Not Alone While yours may seem an impassable mountain, take care to realize that you are not alone. As long as there have been communities, there has been interest-based congregation. Your task is simply one of finding the right mix of organization and individual, both personally and interpersonally, as you work to blend
  2. 2. into your new social and professional environment. Be selective of the groups you will have and even more selective of the groups that will have you. Bring your active person to the group and offer up your own unique talents and interests. As you progress through the process, you might even try breaking free from the pack and going in your own direction with a few like- minded and similarly vested corporate souls. Online, senior professionals and executives can be nominated to professional and executive registries - such as Madison Who’s Who - providing a business networking platform of outstanding potential value. Members of Madison Who’s Who can build their earning potential, encourage growth within their businesses, as well as enhancing their personal reputation through building effective relationships with other members. For more information on members and professional networking, follow the Madison Who’s Who blog or subscribe to the RSS feed. Relevant Tags:business networking, executive directory, networking groups, professional registry