Take out your smart phones or laptops and look at your social media accounts. Many people judge their status on social media by how many friends they have on Facebook or Snapchat, Connections on LinkedIn and Followers on Twitter or Instagram. Hard to believe that not so long ago none of these things existed including the internet. (My children still don’t believe I didn’t have a cell phone or laptop when I was growing up!)
Now take a look at how many “real” connections you have. How many people do you connect with in person? This category would probably include people you work with, your neighbors, your friends/family, etc. It could be a decent number of connections but since these are based on connecting in person, the number would most likely be a much smaller number than your on-line connections.
Why is this important? In the world we live in today, having a lot of connections can help you in a number of ways. You can leverage them to help you find a new job, get a recommendation for something, stay in touch with people and be part of a bigger community outside of your hometown.
Having just experienced my birthday, I can tell you there is nothing better than seeing all the great birthday messages on Facebook! Aside from that though it is a great way to stay connected to people, see the pictures they post and what is going on in their lives. It helps to build a virtual community when you can’t see your friends and family in person all the time.
If you are looking for a new job, having a lot of connections is an absolute must. In today’s job market, it is all about who you know that can help you find a job. Many people do not keep up with their network while they are working and then they have to scramble to connect with people. If you continue to build connections on a regular basis, you will have a much larger group of contacts to reach out to when you need their help to find a job. The opposite may also may be true if you have an open position to fill you can let your contacts know in case they may be interested or know another candidate.
When I left my corporate job, I was so happy to have Facebook and LinkedIn. I was able to connect with people even if I didn’t have their phone numbers and email addresses. It made the transition a little easier. It has also given me the opportunity to connect with friends from college, high school and grade school. For those of you who are parents, you need to be on social media to see what your children are doing. Understand what apps your kids have and ensure that they are not sharing too much information.
I know not everyone is using social media at this time or they are using it sporadically. Don’t worry about how many followers or friends you have but make sure you are networking (in person or virtually) on a regular basis. You never know when you may need their help or maybe you can help them when they need something from you.
If you would like to connect with me you can find all of my social media links at the bottom of my website home page http://susanmbarber.com/. I am always looking to connect with new people!
Do you need my help? If you are interested in connecting about coaching or leadership development needs, please click on the following link to set up time: http://susanmbarber.com/schedule-an-appointment/.