Networking has long been seen as laying the groundwork for career growth. The value of strong social connections is undeniable, and networking has traditionally been a way to ease the stress of “climbing the corporate ladder.” But in recent years, traditional networking events have become awkward, stale, and mostly a waste of time. Scott Gerber, the CEO of The Community Company and author of “Super Connector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships that Matter” recently stated that “networking is dead.” This doesn’t mean that networking is gone, it’s being reincarnated with a fresher, more authentic feel.
The main goal of traditional networking is to meet people in your similar field to get a job or generate a new financial connection. The term has become so overused and has boiled down to large meet ups with a lack of cohesion and focus. Let’s face it, swapping business cards doesn’t really do much anymore. This technique of networking is focused on the short term and seems very inauthentic.
A new trend has begun to revitalize networking into a deeper, more focused form of connection with others who can benefit from each other. New events such as entrepreneurial “boot camps,” are smaller, more intimate, and provide an interactive, informative environment for entrepreneurs to form long-lasting, authentic bonds with those who are similarly minded. Through these events and other deeper, more mutually beneficial relationships will produce a more authentic and deeper sense of networking.
Remember that social connections are extremely important to generate new jobs, new ventures, new collaborations, and more, just like traditional networking did. Take a look at how you’re currently practicing your networking. Are you connecting for short term needs that may only benefit you? You may need to make a shift to a more personal connection, creating genuine, long-lasting connections which will ultimately lead to more benefits for everyone in the long run!