Back to School: The Perfect Networking Refresher

“I heard you missed us… we’re back!” –Van Halen, “Hot For Teacher”

While you may not have the flair of good ol’ “Diamond” David Lee Roth, this time of year can still be a perfect opportunity to show your networking chops. Ok, so you are shuddering at the thought of going back to school. Don’t. You should really be relishing the chance to grow your relationships: in school and in the community.

See, we are always networking… whether it be at school, out with friends, or online. Think about your last PRSSA meeting, Twitter chat, or Facebook group discussion. Did you talk about how you can help with an event or talk to a respected pro about setting up a lunch discussion? Bingo! You are networking.

One of the greatest tools for networking nowadays is social media. I find Twitter to be a wonderful opportunity to not just establish friendships, but grow them.  It takes networking to foster those relationships. I may not be telling you something new, but it helps to hammer home the importance of social media and how it can be used to better our lives and careers.

I’ve spoken to enough groups in the last year to realize that social media’s networking power still isn’t realized. You may be reading this and saying to yourself, “But, I get it.” Good! Then, take the time this academic year to teach at least two friends how to get on LinkedIn. Tell them the opportunities to network for a internship via Twitter chats.Think about how many times we have seen people post thanks to a friend made on social media avenues because they were able to get an interview or even a job.I posted this on Facebook a few months back:

Friendships can be the foundation for life. Some of us have many, others a few. It’s not the quantity, but the quality. Think about it…

We make our foundations stronger by the quality of people we surround ourselves with in life. One great example is when friend tells their friend(s) or colleague(s) about you.  Maybe you’ve helped them in the past or provided advice.  They’ve now networked and provided another opportunity to meet someone who could help you down the road. Don’t take for granted what your friends know and certainly don’t pass up the chance to make another “quality” friend.

Remember… the contacts you make today could result in success tomorrow.

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