By Advait Rajmane
Illinois FBLA Reporter
Social media has become an inherent part of our lives. Every second there will be someone goofily sending a snap, mindlessly liking a post, or endlessly scrolling through the void of TikTok. Although the reliance we have on these platforms has its drawbacks, it is no surprise that their utilization has led to a very connected and efficient world.
Even with the rise of social media, networking consistently remains essential to forming relationships and building careers. Using a few simple techniques, we can expand the extent of our networks and acquire contact with professionals in their industry.
Using the FBLA network as an example, there are countless members and alumni that use Instagram or Linkedin to make and maintain connections with people around the country. They are able to connect with a multitude of individuals all from the comfort of their own bedrooms. To begin the networking process, start by sending a short introduction about yourself. Within that message, it is also helpful to include a commonality that you might have with the individual. Here is a quick example:
“Hey Yash, my name is Advait! I am the new State Reporter for Illinois FBLA. I saw that you were also a State Officer for Illinois FBLA, and I would like to connect with you to talk about any advice you have for an incoming State Officer.”
That’s it! Although intimidating, it is quite simple to take the initial step that will begin a connection which could last for life.
My final point is to remain safe online. Even though the benefits that come with the convenience of social networking outweigh the drawbacks, there will always be possible unintended consequences. To combat this, we can refrain from engaging with offensive posts/comments, maintain digital privacy where possible, and don’t do anything you wouldn't do in front of your parents! With all this in mind, you are ready to begin your network expansion.