Value of the money that you earn in your professional life is
way less than the value of the real connections you have made.
In an interview published on Forbes, Porter Gale, winner of Changing The Game Award, by The Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), says, “It’s not just true in some allegorical or metaphorical sense, but true in a very real, direct, and measurable sense that looking back over the course of my life, the present value of my network has always eclipsed the value of my current assets by millions of dollars.”
There are loads of articles that will tell you why professional networking is important emphasizing on the need of looking for opportunities, a new job or business break. In this article, I want to stress upon on why professional networking is important to do great in your job in hand, long term value is obvious.
Porter, in the same interview, gave a real-life example of George John, co-founder of ad network/programmatic media platform Rocket Fuel where she quotes her conversation with George mentioning how his network has helped him right from the beginning of his career. His first job, to his Stanford PhD admission, to his first and second start-up gigs that led to two IPO’s, and $76mm investment to scores of great hires he got into Rocket Fuel. All of this, he says, have come through his network of friends and colleagues. There are many examples around us to prove the worth and need to have a strong professional network.
What better platform than LinkedIn, to be on to start with.
LinkedIn, when started, was nothing but a resume online where one would simply advertise a snapshot of her/his skills and professional experiences to the hiring managers. Today it offers much more than that. You never know when you would need help of a person who has the skills that folks in your friends or family might not have.
There are many ways LinkedIn as a platform can help in building your connections (net worth):
- Trust Building
- In my meetings with over 140 consultants among thousands that Aditi has placed in local Seattle market, more than 90 percent of them mentioned that LinkedIn is the first place they go to when asked about the online platform they chose when looking for a new job opportunity. Now, having heard directly from the horses mouth, whether you are a corporate HR professional or a hiring manager aiming to build your dream team, or an employee of a recruitment firm whose bread and butter depends upon the way a candidates look at your employer brand, it is imperative to have a great LinkedIn presence.
- During the interview conversation, these consultants also mentioned that they do get suspicious when they get a random call from a recruiter asking for last few digits of their Social Security number. For the recruiter it sometimes is a mandatory need to be able to create unique profile of the candidate for the job on Applicant Tracking System (ATS tool) and process further. But there is no doubt that it’s a genuine concern from a candidate’s perspective. Most of the consultants said, if they find genuinity in a recruiter’s approach, communication, and a good LinkedIn profile, they find him/her trustworthy to share critical information.
- Recommendations and Endorsement on your LinkedIn profile by others are like your professional credit score. Like it or not, but having good words from others about your professional self has great impact on people you want to do business with.
- Community Building
What has been your biggest take away from the last networking event you attended? Were you able to find new business, a business partner, a co-founder or at least a helpful contact? Or was the experience like having forced conversations, boring talk sessions and a lot of carbs with drinks, pizzas and pastas on platter? That’s exactly where the coherent difference lies between a networking event and a community meet. Communities are created based on shared ideals and valued relationships rather than transactional quid pro quo exchanges.
LinkedIn gives an opportunity to build close-knit communities no matter what your current role is:
- If you are a business development / account management / marketing professional, you can find and join LinkedIn groups that cater to the latest disruptive trends your current and prospective customers are facing. This way, you can employ the inbound sales approach of identifying, connecting, exploring and advising to win new business or penetrate current programs for up-selling, all in buyer’s context. Answering a question on Quora.com, Jeraldine Phneah, Account manager at Socialbakers said said, she used the power of LinkedIn for her business development role and relied on it heavily to create organizational charts of firms that she was targeting, plan specific accounts and find key decision makers.
- If you are in an employee engagement/relations role, LinkedIn gives an opportunity to create a group to promote your internal events, referral programs, redeployment opportunities, promote new policies or to just keep in touch. Join a group/community where through industry peers you get the opportunities to learn best practices that if you can inculcate in your current role you would do a much better job.
- If you are in the recruitment role, LinkedIn is a platform you know your next potential candidate is. There are recruiters who are so seasoned, that they maintain their personal database of their candidates and use LinkedIn extensively to keep in touch with these candidates.
Community building is based on the value you bring on the table for the members. LinkedIn being a platform for professional networking sets the stage right and enables all that it takes to build a community.
- Billions are wasting time on Social Networking platforms while many others are ringing the cash registers on LinkedIn. Stats from the latest LinkedIn User Survey says: