Web 2.0 and the need to be hyperconnected
Right now, we live in a world, where we can almost “touch” anyone we want. Instead of six degrees of separation, we are at three degrees. It has never been easier to meet someone, especially when we see whose friends with whom on Facebook. People are revealing their information on their social networks and websites. Basically, people want you to email them, or call them on Skype or comment on their blog. The web has taken networking to a whole new level.
We used to be limited with who we could connect with, but now, web 2.0 has eliminated communication barriers and put everyone on common ground. Since this happened, you are free to interface with professors, reporters, celebrities and executives ON THEIR TURF (which is sometimes your turf too). Before web 2.0, you had to meet someone in person to either befriend them or get a new client, but now, you can reach thousands of people in a very short period of time. All this hyperconnectively has given rise to what I believe will be a new job qualification, your network.
You have to have a large network now – no excuses
If anyone ever told me they only knew 20 people, my jaw would drop. I’ve learned over the past few years how easy it is to reach out to people (don’t be afraid) or have people contact you directly.
“A blog is like a mousetrap, catching people who are passionate about your topic.”
There is starting to be an expectation that you have a large network because of this accessibility. There are no excuses! It doesn’t even make sense to me that people don’t consider using social tools to network.
Human resources demand “a large network”
So you thought having work experience and a relevant skill set was enough? Nope. Businesses realize that a strong network means better and faster business results.
- When you have a large network inside a company, you have more resources and can get work done faster.
- When you have a large network outside of a company, you have expertise available to help you do your job better, plus some “job security” and credibility or “relationship equity.”
Think about PR firms for a second. Many people are hiring based on experience with writing press releases or pitching media, when those factors aren’t as important as the person’s network. Who would you rather hire for your PR firm, someone with 5 years of work experience or someone who is friends with all the journalists in your clients industry? The PR expertise can be learned on the job.
It’s obvious and goes to prove that, especially in external communication functions, you need to weigh the person’s network. Years ago, it was impossible to really understand this, but today it’s as simple as a Google search. By using LinkedIn and Facebook, you can verify if someone has a strong network or not and let’s face it, a large network can put you ahead of the curve.
You’ll be seeing this more and more as we move forward. It’s been my prediction for a while. Your network, is not just your net worth, but a job qualifier!