Business Networking Tips: Learn How to Leverage Social Media for Career Advancement

Do you ever wonder how you are going to get that next job? Or ask yourself, how can I get a promotion? Or even what career path should I take? Especially in today’s economy these questions and many more pop into the minds of most of us whether employed, unemployed, or a student working on furthering their education. We network for referrals in business, to obtain jobs, find the right schools, doctors – basically, almost every element of our daily lives is dependent on our ability to network.

Business networking at its core is communicating amongst peers to build connections. Your ability to market yourself personally and professionally is critical. How successful an individual is in building relationships is dependent upon initiative, drive, and the desire to succeed. If an individual is proactive, their professional network will be readily available when needed.

Here are a few key business networking tips.

1. Openly communicate and engage new individuals. Each day brings the opportunity for new encounters.
2. Take the time to say hello to the person standing and waiting in line at the grocery store or ask the cashier how their day is going.
3. Do not take for granted who you are speaking to because that person could be the next lead to a great opportunity.

In today’s global economy, using social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is an important strategy to grow your online network and to build strong relationships.  Explore the individuals you are connected with and browse through their list of connections. Maybe there is an old friend on the list who you were unable to locate on your own. Or, maybe you see someone who works for a company or industry you have an interest in. Whether the contacts we have in mind are a direct connection, or an acquaintance of a close friend who is in the field you are interested transitioning to, we must take advantage of the information we have readily available and network. Social media is one of the fastest and easiest ways to start your network, no matter the purpose.

To build a strong business network, an individual must have faith in themselves, as well as patience. “Good things come, to those who wait” is definitely true, but I prefer to say, “Great things come to those who strive to achieve.” Do not forget that initiative, drive, and the desire to succeed can be your turning point to success for your prosperous future. So start putting these business networking tips into practice by talking, tweeting, and creating new connections today.

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Jennifer Ashton, is an adjunct professor for the School of Business at Rasmussen College Online. She has worked in business for more than 15 years. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of Central Florida, and a Master's in Organizational Management and Elementary Education from University of Phoenix. In addition, she is pursuing a doctorate in Instructional Technology and Distance Education from Nova Southeastern University.

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