Network without networking by Joey McGirr from Oct. 6 JSN Meeting

October 6, 2014

in Job Search, LinkedIn, Meeting Reports, Networking

So many are terrified by the thought of networking. Some find it difficult to ”work a room” at an event, by shaking hands, saying hello and asking “what do you do,” but Joey McGirr, of McGirr Enterprises, suggests “networking without networking” by using online social media to help you get work.

Of course there’s still plenty of value in meeting people face to face, but the modes of networking are many. McGirr says you have to think if it as making friends. If you’re attending an actual Meetup or happy hour, he says bringing a friend can make it easier.

So who is exactly your network? You have past friends – like high school classmates and former coworkers, current friends – your closest network of family, friends and colleagues and then you have your future friends – the people you will meet along the way, like a fellow job seekers at Job Seekers Network on a Monday morning or someone a colleague introduces you to via email or on Linked In.

And where do you network? Inside your comfort zone – like in a class or at church and outside your comfort zone – like a professional Meetup at a local coffee shop. While learning to navigate online social media, like Twitter, don’t be afraid to accept failure and learn from your mistakes. He likens the efforts to that of riding a bike, “When learning, ride on the grass, so as to not get beat up.” Don’t ever give up on your efforts, regardless of the naysayers.

Why should you be on social media? McGirr says, “You don’t have to, but there are some really powerful tools available.” You may have your resume saved in Word, but using online tools such as Linked In, Facebook and Twitter simply amplify what you’re already doing to help you find your next opportunity in a comfortable manner.

McGirr gives some how-to’s for the different sites. On Linked In, this is where you connect with people on a professional level. You can receive email updates every time someone from your network has a change in job, an anniversary or even a birthday. It can be used as an online resume and provides lots of great detail on what you’re looking for, where you’ve been and how to reach you now. On Facebook, this is more of a social network of family and friends, but also a valuable tool to reach large groups of people who know you pretty well. Twitter is an organizational tool where you create “followers” similar to the “friends” on Facebook, but is an abbreviated version, like getting brief headline feeds of what people are doing. He also mentioned Instagram app and Google + as areas where you can also have followers and friends.

These can be used as your online business card. McGirr suggests making sure it is fun and professional as, “This is where you paint yourself in the best light possible.” The key words could help someone decide whether they want to hire you or not. One tip he shared was to manage the Endorsements on Linked In by narrowing those down to your few core strengths, for the position you desire, and hiding the rest.

“There really are no excuses to not network,” McGirr said. You can do it 24 hours a day with all of this technology. And another great upside to these sites is there is no cost associated with joining or using.

For more about Joey McGirr, check out his website at – he can also be found on Linked In. Twitter @joeymcgirr or in a classroom at The University of Texas teaching students how to use Linked In to improve the quality of their network.

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