The world is digital, and most signs point to the Internet when it comes to the future of business. Blogging, tweeting, digging, and commenting are all valuable ways to share information and meet contacts. But when it comes to connecting, sometimes the cyberwalls need to come down for relationships to bloom. That’s not to say that you should close your LinkedIn window – rather once you make the connection, you need to foster it with more than a quick email.
That is one takeaway from Law School Podcaster’s recent Networking 101 Podcast, which features four guests: Jessie Kornberg, Executive Director of Ms. JD, Frank Kimball, Owner of Kimball Professional Management, Kimberly Encinas, Associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP Los Angeles and Katherine Hayes, Third-year law student at Northwestern University Law School. The podcast, which focuses on the idea that “the network you build is a key factor in your success,” offers useful advice on making and keeping connections. As the podcast highlights, networking is important for your job search, but the connections you make go beyond landing employment. From referrals, to business development, to career-shaping, making connections can help in various aspects of your daily life.
And in terms of fostering those connections, “it isn’t just about sending somebody an email. If you identify somebody with a common background and interest, then for sure shoot them an email with a copy of your résumé but then you have to pick up the telephone and call that person,” says Frank Kimball. Kimball’s point is particularly relevant for the new generation of lawyers and law students whose daily lives are run by one-line emails and even-briefer text messages. While the Internet is a great resource for building a broad network, I think we risk building too many acquaintances and not enough relationships.
Jessie Kornberg emphasizes the importance of both: “You need deep sustaining relationships with people who will be your champions through thick and thin. You need to include in your idea of your network people that you don’t know very well at all, but people who, if they pick up the phone and call you and ask for a favor you’d be happy to help and who will do the same in return for you.” Kornberg’s view is a great balance for networking in the digital world – various types of connections will be useful in different circumstances, and it’s important to create a diverse pool of contacts.
Perhaps the greatest takeaway from the podcast, though, is to put yourself out there. You can’t network unless you actually connect with people, whether that’s in-person, over-the-phone, over email, or via social networks.
For more Networking 101, head over to Law School Podcaster’s.
[Law School Podcaster Networking 101 Source]
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