The U.S. may be in an economic recession; however, it does not mean that you cannot use your personal experience and business background to find a better paying job or additional job. Through online and offline networking, you can find your dream job or meet potential clients and customers to increase your business revenues.
Since the inception of the Internet, email and online groups, men and women have been able to communicate with more people from more places across the globe than once imaginable. Online social networking is exploding across the Internet as more employers and agencies are turning to social network sites to find potential employees and to check work references. Knowing the most popular social networks on the Web in addition to offline network groups can dramatically increase your chances of being connected to the right people or your next employer.
Networking does differ somewhat for men and women, but only in how each gender relates to the other. “Men define themselves through business or the type of work experience they have,” says Patty Sadallah of the Redwood Sisterhood. “Whereas women define themselves through their personal relationships.” How does this difference affect men and women’s networking roles?
Women will have to overcome some challenges in order to network offline with male colleagues and other potential business contacts that are dominated by men, according to an article published in The Cleveland Women’s Journal (Feb-Mar 2009).
Tips for Women to Successfully Network with Men
- Add a feminine touch when talking with men by asking about their personal interests, family and hobbies.
- Send thank you notes to those you met and networked with at social events and include a business card if you did not get a chance to give them one already. This adds a personal feminine touch and may garner you a future interview or phone call to discuss an opportunity.
- Ask questions or advice relevant to your business or position. Men like to be the expert on something and this tactic will validate that you find them trustworthy.
- Find allies with a male colleague or two who values your insight and expertise. Attend networking functions with this person, as he is more likely to include you in conversations and introduce you to other people.
Women and men should join both online and offline groups in order to grow their professional network. Through joining free online business networks, you not only grow your own network, but will also have an opportunity to promote your business, expertise and take part in discussions. Three of the most popular online business networks are Linked In, Fast Pitch Networking and Facebook. LinkedIn and Fast Pitch both have free and paid membership choices. By joining these three networks, you will be able to connect with more people and businesses than email alone.
Features of Top 3 Online Business Social Networks
1. LinkedIn has over 10,000 groups to join and to be an active participant through discussions, Q & A, upload press releases, articles, connect to corporate blogs and more. women’s health blogs
2. Fast Pitch Networking also has many of the same features as Linked In, but it also has a weekly live chat for those who opt for the paid membership.
3. Facebook was once touted only for those who had an email ending in ‘.edu’; it added a business application in 2008 for all types of businesses to connect in addition to creating groups by its members. You can create more than one account by using a different email address at signup.
Looking for other online business networks? Anyone can find just what he or she is looking for through simple searches using your favorite search engine. Search for top business social networks, niche social networks, or insert your industry along with social networks or social media (manufacturing social networks). There is much to be read, discussed, and critiqued when researching online social networks and social media.
Scour your local and regional newspaper for events in your area either free or low cost to meet people and to look for job opportunities. Several business social networks offer in-person networking events in many cities across the country. Attend one and talk to other attendees about yourself, your current business/company, and offer a business card for future contact. Everyone who attends is looking to meet other people, so do not be afraid to introduce yourself.