Networking is a vital aspect of career advancement for young professionals, providing a gateway to valuable connections and career growth opportunities.
In this blog, we will explore the concept of networking, distinguish between personal and professional networking, and delve into the best online platforms tailored to build professional connections.
Additionally, we’ll introduce you to an innovative service called “Netwalking”. Netwalking is a unique combination of networking and outdoor activity.
Whether you’re a recent graduate or a young entrepreneur, this guide is your pathway to unlocking the full potential of networking in the digital age.
Let’s get started!
What is Professional Networking?
Professional networking is the process of building mutually beneficial relationships with other professionals. It is the act of building and maintaining relationships with other professionals in your industry or related fields.
It is important for career growth as it can expand your knowledge, opportunities, and connections to reach your business goals. As expertly stated by Tim Sanders, “your network is your net worth”.
Personal vs Professional Networking?
As you navigate your networking journey, it’s important to distinguish between your personal and professional networks. Combining the two can lead to wasted time and effort.
Keep your personal network for socialising and sharing updates about your private life. Alternatively, use your professional network to share career opportunities, build connections, and stay updated on industry news.
Why is Networking Important for Young Professionals?
Proactive networking is an essential career enhancement strategy that can enhance your career possibilities. Online networking can help you build a robust network of valuable contacts, providing insights into industry trends and career opportunities.
It can even lead to job recommendations from those who recognise your strengths. Social media has made it easier than ever for you to strengthen existing relationships and create new flexible connections, unlocking endless career growth possibilities at any time or anywhere.
Top 5 Online Networking Platforms
Here are our five most recommended online networking sites:
If you’re a young professional seeking career growth, LinkedIn is your go-to social media platform. LinkedIn is a platform for professionals with a staggering 740 million users worldwide.
It is an ideal platform for building personal brands and serves as a valuable resource for recruiters seeking potential candidates.
Having a LinkedIn profile is a must for job seekers as employers expect it as a standard. Don’t overlook this important tool for your career growth.
Our advice: Only post content you wouldn’t mind your future employer seeing. Post and reshare content that aligns with your beliefs and vision. Publish more to build credibility. Take advantage of the Premium account including access to ‘LinkedIn Learning’ to gain new skills and knowledge.
As a young professional, Twitter offers you the opportunity to build valuable and long-lasting connections through spontaneous interactions.
Use event hashtags at conferences to connect with others and online communities, follow industry trends, and optimise networking opportunities in the business world.
Our advice: Utilise the hashtag feature to search for trends, recent industry updates, and idea generation. Engage with professionals by replying to posts that resonate with you.
As a young professional, Facebook can be a valuable tool for networking. You can create a professional profile and connect with industry peers, as well as associate with relevant groups.
Engaging with thought leaders and attending networking events can help you showcase your achievements and promote your personal brand.
In addition, features like Facebook Live and ‘Check-in’ can also be beneficial. It is important to manage your privacy settings to maintain a professional image and expand your network for career growth.
Our advice: Manage your profile’s visibility with privacy settings. Whenever attending professional networking events, use the ‘check-in’ feature and share your experience online. For professional posts, change the private settings to ‘public’.
With Meetup, you can use the app or website to connect with people who share similar interests and activities. You can join or establish groups based on your hobbies, professional interests, or social causes to create connections and promote community building.
The objective of the platform is to facilitate in-person meetings and interactions, allowing you to develop meaningful relationships with individuals who have similar interests.
Our advice: Use the location search to discover events in your town/city. Additionally, leverage platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to share your insights about the event with your network and build new connections.
As a young professional, you can use Eventbrite to network in various ways. You can conveniently organise find and attend industry events, participate in professional meetups and engage with speakers and experts.
Eventbrite provides numerous chances to connect with individuals who share similar interests, acquire valuable knowledge, and advance your career.
Our advice: Use the ‘Business’ category to find networking events. Follow the advice given above.
With digital technology at our fingertips, there are many options to connect with like-minded individuals online. However, it is important not to forget the benefits of meeting others in person. Netwalking is an innovative alternative to traditional indoor professional networking.
What is Netwalking and Why Is it Important?
Netwalking aims to take you from a virtual path of career success to a physical one. It is a unique alternative to professional networking that combines walking outdoors with building business relationships, with unreaped benefits.
It breaks down barriers and encourages open conversations, leading to more meaningful connections among like-minded professionals.
Not only does netwalking promote physical activity through walking, but it also boosts energy, reduces stress, and enhances overall mental health and well-being. Netwalking is the upcoming method of combining exercise with career growth.
MOVE Online offers community building online through online meetings and offline through netwalking sessions. Netwalking sessions are available no matter which side of the Liverpool Mersey you are situated on.
Mark is a multi-award winner in business networking and relationship building. He is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owners and professionals through 1-1 & group coaching, team performance workshops and group mastermind sessions.