Freeman Cebu Business

Networking – for Growth and Innovation

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry Schumacher - The Freeman

Networking is so important for the future of leaders, of employees, innovators, and for people who want to create change.

I enjoyed that Gen Z’s style of professional networking is more casual, relational, and global than previous generations, focusing on skill sets rather than job positions. That’s helping young workers build networks quickly and with little pressure… and, by design, it may actually help more workers find the job position of their dreams.

Small talk updates

Gen Z is remaking networking for the digital age. Here are some trends:

* Young workers are focused more on peer-to-peer networking than peer-to-mentor networking, opting to make “internet friends” who can grow professionally alongside them.

* Professional networking follows the same rules as social networking — a mix of informal engagement with posts and content creation and sliding into those DMs.

* Networking is now borderless and not bound by time zones, thanks to the rise of digital communication and global social platforms.

But one of the biggest changes is that Gen Z is networking constantly, as opposed to just in between jobs or when someone is looking to make a job move. It’s a daily practice.

That’s backed up by LinkedIn data, with the company’s director of corporate communications, Suzi Owens, sharing that Gen Z grows their networks 28.7% faster than millennials and 54.7% faster than Gen X.

In other words, the generation is really good at managing messages.

While it is interested to look at the networking culture of GenZ, it is also essential to focus on other essential networking activities:

* Data-Driven Networking - Professionals are using data and analytics to inform their networking strategies. They track the success of their networking efforts, measure engagement, and adjust their approaches based on quantifiable results.

* Adaptability and Continuous Learning - Networking culture encourages adaptability and a commitment to lifelong learning. Staying updated with industry trends and technological advancement is crucial for maintaining relevant connections.

* Balancing Digital and In-Person Interactions - Striking a balance between online and in-person networking has become important. While digital platforms offer convenience and reach, face-to-face interactions provide a depth of connection that is hard to replace virtually.

* Inclusive Networking Spaces - There is a growing recognition of the importance of creating inclusive spaces where professionals from different backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, and cultures can connect and thrive together.

* Focus on Skill-Based Networking - Networking is not only about exchanging business cards or contacts, but also about sharing knowledge and skills. Professionals seek to connect with others who can offer unique insights, expertise, or collaborative opportunities.

* Informal Networking Opportunities -   Formal networking events are supplemented by informal gatherings, such as meetups, workshops, and social events. These provide more relaxed environments for building relationships.

* Mentorship and Reverse Mentorship - Mentorship has become a key component of networking, with experience professionals offering guidance to younger or less experienced individuals. Additionally, reverse mentorship has gained traction, where younger professionals bring fresh perspectives to their senior counterparts.

These culture changes in networking reflect the dynamic nature of professional relationships and the evolving expectations of professionals in today’s interconnected world. Embracing these shifts can lead to more meaningful and fruitful networking experiences. If I look at my professional life, networking has been the driver to succeed! I wish you the same!!!

I look forward to your comments; contact me at [email protected]

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