THE new sunday express MAGAZINE Voices Anand Neelakantan Utkarsh Amitabh Romola Butalia Shinie Antony Dinesh Singh Mata Amritanandamayi Buffet People Wellness Books Food Art & Culture Entertainment december 4 2022 SUNDAY PAGES 12 The Top Benefits of Networking Online 92% Saves time 88% Saves money 64% Allows the participant to multi-task Five Places to Network Other than an Event 55% Increases productivity Digital networking platforms 76% College alumni networks (through newsletters and social media pages) More flexibility in location and timing 49% Ability to archive sessions Events, conferences and expos Social meet-ups within your community 16% Less peer pressure Through former colleagues or those at your current job The (According to a Forbes survey) e-Social Network In a world that is increasingly functioning online, can the age-old practice of professional networking be sustained? By going digital, it certainly can. T By Noor Anand Chawla hrough a series of unfortunate events, Noidabased corporate professional Param Singh found himself without a job when the pandemic started. After months of sitting at home and searching online, he received a prospective lead for a job in a financial firm in Hong Kong from his ex-colleague with whom he was socialising on an informal Zoom gathering. This led to him thoroughly researching the antecedents of those whom he would potentially be reporting to (an in-depth search on LinkedIn and Google helped). When he applied for the job, his application prominently mentioned his international alma mater, which was shared by the global department head who was interviewing him. Over the next few weeks and a series of video calls, Singh impressed his way to the seat and moved to Hong Kong even as the Covid crisis continued unabated. When asked what he thought worked in his favour amid such unfavourable circumstances, Singh says it was a judicious mix of networking skills and confidence born of the fact that he and the people he spoke to had some form of shared history His tech-savvy approach . and willingness to appear for video calls at odd hours also worked in his favour. By the end of the entire procedure, those who hired him felt they could not have found a more suitable candidate for the job. Singh is but one of an increasingly large number of people embracing digital networking and reaping the rewards of their early mover advantage in doing so. A global online survey conducted by LinkedIn in the year 2017 asked 15,905 members across 17 countries, their opinion on the changing nature of networking. More than one-third of those surveyed noted that professional opportunities had presented themselves over a casual conversation with connections through LinkedIn Messaging. This included new professional roles, business deals and, in some cases, even fruitful business partnerships. A decade ago, the concept of networking may have conjured images of men being part of ‘old boys’ clubs’ and meeting over whisky-sodas at exclusive members-only chambers. In this scenario, those born with the proverbial silver spoon had a distinct advantage over everyone else. In an increasingly digitising world, however, networking has become an AI-enabled process that benefits the world at large, without looking at a person’s gender, age, qualifications, country of origin or social background. A Zippia survey from 2021 reveals that in a post-Covid world, online networking is preferred over in-person networking by 40 percent of people Data Meets Digital Payal Sen, a Mumbai-based media executive, was shopping around for new career opportunities early last year. She stumbled upon Coffeemug.ai and decided to create a profile. This AI-based psychometric analysis platform claims to establish meaningful connections for purposes of start-up investment, career opportunities, mentorship or brainstorming business ideas. Once her profile was made, she was asked to fill in a form stating her preferences and expectations. On the basis of her responses, she began to receive emailers from the platform with curated lists of people who matched what she was looking for. All she had to do was select her top choices from the list and depending on their availability , the platform would set up a video date on a pre-fixed time every week, enabling her to Turn to page 2 According to a LinkedIn survey, some experts believe posting online about being unemployed doesn’t help a person’s odds of finding work, but 48 percent of hiring managers said they view public posts about a job search as conveying resourcefulness. Between 30 percent to 40 percent of hiring managers also said it conveys proactive problem solving and confidence.
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