The Millennial Guide To Effective Networking


Born with smartphones in their hands, Generation Z (or Gen Z) also known as Zoomers; have always walked parallel to technological advancements at each step. With the advent of social media and newer cybernetics, networking has become more accessible and more broadly scoped.

As the young generation is all set to enter the pandemic-struck workforce, the pressure on them to excel in their new roles is at an all-time high. In order to survive and thrive in this highly dynamic world, they need to revamp their social networking methods.

The right mix of online and offline networking is something that will give Gen Z an edge over others. The generations’ familiarity with technology and social media already works in their favor, but it isn’t everything. For one’s career to grow, it’s important to know all the tools in order to exploit them at the right time.

We know that you’re from the young and dynamic 15-second reel world, so here are our quick takeaways if you don’t want to read the entire blog:

  • Networking is very important for both personal and professional growth – do not ignore it at any cost.
  • You need to identify the right audience, connect with them and continue to meaningfully engage over a period of time.
  • Medium of engagement is very important, it can be in-person or online, or any combination thereof. Choosing the right medium and the right message is half the job done for you.
  • Networking is a two-way street – ensure that you give in equal measures as you gain from your peers.
  • Try to catch up or meet with your peers occasionally to maintain the right balance of personal and professional touch.
  • In the end – it is your skills and interests that will beat all strategies to make you stand out!!

Why Networking? Why It’s Important?

Did you know that almost 85% of all jobs are filled through networking?

Source: CNBC

Networking is essentially required to surround oneself with the right set of people. These will be the connections that will either land you in an even better position or sail you out of a professional mess or take you to a safer coast. Moreover, when you will cross the threshold of student life, these will be the people who will be possibly influencing and shaping you. Hence, it’s extremely important to carefully understand and implement the networking process.

Below are a few tips and best practices that will help you build networks and foster connections
  • Connect with people from your industry: In social networking, connecting with the right people at the right time is the key. On various social media platforms, there are several groups that keep posting relevant content. Join these virtual clubs of your interest and start interacting on platforms like Meetup, Reddit, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

    Networking can help you get hired and grow your career. LinkedIn reports:

    • 80% of professionals consider professional networking to be important to career success.
    • 35% of surveyed professionals say that a casual conversation on LinkedIn Messaging has led to a new opportunity.
    • 61% of professionals agree that regular online interaction with their professional network can lead the way into possible job opportunities.

  • Don’t hesitate to express your ideas: Whether you agree or disagree, just say it. After subscribing to these groups, remain active by sharing your thoughts. No one will offer opportunities to the silent spectators. You need to keep your engagement alive constantly. If you wish to appreciate, debate, or add a few points to a discussion, never hold yourself back. Allow your thoughts to flow, given you state them with logic and decency.

  • Choose your medium wisely: While Gen Z might be handling numerous social media, others might have kept their social media limited. If you happen to connect with a senior, it’s advisable to stay connected with them over simpler messaging apps, like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Since their interface is less complex, they are likely to stay active there. If you happen to be in the same city, ask for an office appointment.

    Also, it’s good to channelize your engagement with the right people depending upon the industry. If photography is your field then there is no point keeping engagement high at LinkedIn. The best place to grab their attention is – Instagram. Share their work, tag them, and if their DM (direct message) is open, then drop a text. It is equally important to understand the sensitivity of the medium and the audience before planning your interactions. For instance, Facebook and Instagram are generally considered to be more personal and intimate platforms for individuals whereas Meetup or LinkedIn are meant for more professional engagements.

  • What’s in it for THEM: Networking is a two-way street. Long-term relations happen when the other person also sees benefit in staying in touch with you. Since you are a fresher, there isn’t much to offer, except for one thing, i.e. talent. Keep posting your initiative and work. Share ideas that show your potential. A unique skill set and talent will work as a magnet. It will attract opportunities and great connections. Everyone wants to collaborate with skillful people.

    Excellent example: You can add value to your network by spending a little bit of time each week connecting people who should know each other, in two easy steps:

    Introduce people whose needs match another person’s strengths.

    To connect two people, you can send an email to your acquaintance who wants to, for example, transition into a marketing career, and connect them with a marketing professional you know:

    Hey Aditya,
    There’s someone I met earlier who’s really good at marketing. That person is Priyanka Mehta who owns his own marketing firm, Marketing ABC. I think he can provide some really good advice, and I think he’s even looking for a new hire! Can I introduce you two?


    • You offered value by connecting them? Yes!
    • Will they remember you and feel grateful for your connection? Of course!
    • Is this a winning strategy? Absolutely!

    People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
    — Maya Angelou

  • Meet in real: While signing up for virtual groups is important, it’s also crucial to meet for real. If your office has resumed post-pandemic, then the traditional method of introducing oneself at a workplace and going out for coffee works out best. But, is it enough? To expand your network, don’t shy out to meet friends of friends. Go all out while building a rapport. Needless to say, as a college student, know all your colleagues. At the end of the day, all the fishes in the swarm would be in the same industry, and maybe someday they could get you a job or simply even a cozy ride home.

    Pro Tip: Be polite whenever you are conversing in a professional space. Use “Please,” “Thank You,” “Sorry,” and “You’re Welcome” wherever appropriate. Whenever you address someone, make sure to address them with the correct salutations and pronouns. Remember that politeness goes a long way. Also, always respect people’s personal and professional boundaries.

  • Maintain your own portfolio: Apart from meeting people on a third-party platform, it’s essential to keep the discussions alive on things that you own. Blogging and Vlogging are good examples of it. When you make something related to your industry, it will attract people from the genre. People, who are interested in the field, would love to make connections with you. The skill-set that you are expressing through your portfolio will help you make meaningful relations.

    LinkedIn did wonders for Avkash Shah, a 3D graphic designer who put out a creative video to apply for his dream job in CRED.

    Similarly, if your work profile requires a portfolio, work yourself off to make a website for yourself. The Internet is a vast place, and your chunk of information may hold some value for someone who might want to connect with you professionally.

  • Find the balance: Remember, connections can’t be long-term without a personal touch. While meeting people, online or offline, try to not drag professional set-up for long. Look for the right opportunity and try to understand the person behind the designation. Get to know their likes and dislikes. The base of a successful relationship is interpersonal communication. Hence, a perfect balance of professional and personal talk is needed to make forever relations, with the right people.

REMINDER: Be the Tortoise, Not the Hare

Hares often fail to succeed because they haven’t built up enough rapport with their social connections. Whereas tortoises are the people who offer value and make slow, trustworthy connections before they see a return on their investment. Hares are those who go all-in like a straight arrow and ask for a business opportunity upfront which doesn’t work well in most cases.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Introduce a little humor into your conversations.
  • Send private messages complimenting them on their new content.
  • Spend time liking their content and commenting on their posts.
  • Call or video chat and get to know their interests / hobbies.
  • Read more on how to build trust.

Which one are you? The tortoise or the hare?

Do you want to master the art of networking like a pro? Can it help you to take control of your career, find a job, or grow your business? Try this course on Effective Networking by Google

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