How technology can help you reach more people.
One of the best ways to grow your career is to improve your professional network. Having these connections can provide you with the mentorship, advice, and support that you need to bring more value to your work. In the modern age, it’s possible to expand your connections even beyond the people you meet in person. As found in a study on LinkedIn from the Journal of Vocational Behavior, networking sites like LinkedIn helped build strong ties with a business social network, which in turn, improves work-related assistance, career sponsorship, and the provision of new information and ideas. However, with the advent of multiple networking sites, it can be overwhelming to choose how to approach people.
The key to professional networking is to not spread yourself too thin. Rather, you should have specific connections with people within your field and with those you can genuinely relate with. This can help develop long-lasting personal relationships that you can mutually benefit from. Moreover, technology is now at our disposal. As bestselling book The Future Is Faster Than You Think notes, the next 10 years will usher in a rapid technological disruption. From AI to virtual reality, technology is changing how we function as humans, from raising our kids to interacting with others. Here are some ways technology is changing the way we network with other professionals:
Professional networking applications
Aside from social media, professional settings have called for digital communication beyond the usual e-mails. As shared in our post on “Which Apps Help Employees Most?”, 81% of workers worldwide rely on applications than they did five years ago. This growing reliance on technology has produced software like Slack, which has improved teamwork and communication. Its flexible channels can be arranged to share messages, tools, and files, making it easier to find and access crucial information both within and outside organizations. An additional perk of professional networking software and applications is that, unlike regular social media such as Facebook or TikTok, these have been designed to promote productivity. People can easily join public communities to focus on connecting with each other professionally, without having the distraction of irrelevant content.
Scan-and-go business cards
Business cards have been a staple in networking for decades, often showcasing professionalism and organization when meeting someone new face-to-face. Now, even the way you present your contact details has evolved, thanks to technology. The rise of digital business cards shows how physical cards are becoming redundant. Instead of handing out a physical card, your “card” is a QR code which new connections can quickly scan, so your number is automatically saved onto their phone. This can help you save time on introductions at business meetings, letting you focus on making a good impression over fumbling for a physical card. One tip to make your digital cards look professional is to keep them readable. You can choose to use one to three of your brand colors in conjunction with a simple font to give your cards a sleek look.
When it comes to artificial intelligence’s involvement, dating-style platforms are the leading platforms for helping people make professional connections. Business Insider’s article on Bumble Bizz shares how dating applications have taken a step towards accommodating not only those looking for lovers, but also those looking to build professional relationships. Much like the original dating application, these technologies rely on similar work, interests, and education levels to match you up with potential employers, experts in your field, recruiters, or fellow professionals. Since people are suggested to you, it’s more convenient than having to actively attend conferences or business meetings to reach out to new people.
Building a professional network isn’t easy. But through technology and digital platforms, the process of connecting with others can be more streamlined and simpler. If you’re interested in learning more about business trends and practices, you can read MBE magazine’s articles to gain more knowledge and even stay relevant at work.