Teach Your Children to Network Well.

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I have been networking for many years.  I also speak on networking to companies and organizations across the country and often blog on networking.

I have also had the adventure of raising my kids my myself for the past decade.  This has resulted in a lot of former teens and now young adults hanging at my house.  I like being around young people.  I have always used students as my assistants to help me with certain tasks and projects.

These former young kids have become young adults beginning their careers in the workforce and they need to create strong personal brands. They also have to be active networkers these days because the world has changed.

One of my first jobs was with JWT where I worked in Toronto and Chicago for ten years.  A great agency with a terrific history. When I joined the company had a very extensive orientation process. Much more than today’s orientation of here is the company handbook and a list of company’s telephone extensions.  Here is your cube.

Many of the people doing the orientation when I joined JWT had been with the company twenty plus years or longer. They made you think you would be with the company forever.   The JWT Chicago office which opened in 1891 and produced many great campaigns closed last year.  That is the new world that today’s youth will be developing their careers.

I doubt if many young people today will be at their current jobs for 20 years.

Here’s what I would teach your children.

Register their own domain name today and build a simple 3 to 5 page site when they are ready.  It will help improve their SEO and be their permanent phone number for the future.

Create and carry their own personal business cards in addition to their work business cards.  In certain situations outside of work it may be more advantageous to hand out your own personal card.  You work for a company today but you are your own brand forever.

They should also have a robust Linkedin presence with a professional business photo.  They should populate their profile with recommendations from professors and past career jobs.  These can be dropped in the future as they get more current experience.  Recruiters use Linkedin extensively.   Today it is more important for them to be found than to reply to job posts that hundreds will apply to as well.  When the meet with hiring managers they should present their resume and their Linkedin profile. It will make up for the lack of experience youth faces in their early career years.  If they are more robust on Linkedin than the hiring manager they will make an impression.

Teach them how to network.  They won’t like it at first.  Take them to networking events with you if you can.  Their word of mouth reputation is directly related to their network.  Their network will amplify their reputation, provide career opportunities and provide support in the ups and downs of working in a corporate world.

Remind them that their Facebook friend strangers aren’t invited for dinner but their face time friends are.  Personal relationships are what will nurture, stimulate, and enhance their lives.

Face time not Facebook leads to real relationships.

You can connect with Hank on Linkedin

http://www.linkedin.com/in/hankblankcom

Follow his updates on twitter @hankblank

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/hankblank

Watch his video on YouTube on How to Rise Above the Crowd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkO7efleWX4

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5 thoughts on “Teach Your Children to Network Well.

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