The Universal Challenges of Managing A Network — Your Most Important Asset
What if you could see every relationship you’ve ever acquired over your career? Now imagine if all of these relationships stayed with you as old email accounts close and new ones open. How many relationships do you think you would have?
Many professionals move from job to job without bringing their digital rolodex with them. They lose incredibly valuable relationships that took time to grow from a faceless connection to a strong relationship. Why is this so common?
Email Accounts Close, Relationships Are Forgotten
One of the biggest challenges is that work email accounts are closed as you move from job to job. That means if you don’t export or save all of your email contacts before this happens, you’ll easily forget them.
You may remember a small portion of those people you have a strong relationship with outside of email, but for the mass majority, you will completely forget. Even with social media, your relationships will continue to deteriorate over time unless you’re actively in touch.
Doesn’t it make you cringe to think about how many incredibly valuable relationships you’ve likely lost as a result of closing an email account? According to a recent study by Workopolis, only 30% of people stay in any one job for over four years. Job hopping has become the norm for many careers which means this problem will only persist.
Networking Is Cross-Platform, But Nothing Is Connected
Our highly connected world has made cross-platform interactions a natural thing. It’s not uncommon to have a conversation on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, have a back and forth via email and finally setup a meeting using your favorite calendar app.
All of these interactions are happening across different platforms, but are the building blocks of a strong relationship. Without sophisticated marketing or sales software, there’s no simple way to keep track of this information for the average professional.
Each platform is in competition for your attention. They want you networking and growing relationships on their platform. They want you to build more connections, regardless if they’re important. This leaves professionals spending more time online managing multiple accounts without seeing real result in their networking efforts.
Connections Are Mistaken for Real Relationships
You have 500+ LinkedIn connections, 563 Twitter followers, 750 Facebook friends and a whole lot of email addresses, all growing on a daily basis. Could this be one of the reasons why the average person looks at their mobile phone more than 1,500 times a week?
Since the explosion of social media, our networks are growing so fast that it’s becoming nearly impossible to keep up with the people who matter most. The firehose of noise you see in your social media feed is only getting worst as your network continues to grow.
On the plus side, you probably only care about a portion of the connections in your network. That small portion are the people who you want to see updates from and keep in touch with. However, as we grow new connections each day it becomes more of a challenge to filter out the noise and only see updates from those who matter.
Moving Towards a Stronger Network
Hands down, relationships are your most important asset in business. But as we continue to become more connected, we must shift our efforts to focus less on growing the size of our network and more on the strength of it.
According to Network Science, the number one predictor of career success is having an open network. Although creating an open network sounds easy enough, it’s clear there are incredible challenges with managing a large and actively growing network.
There are many visionaries currently working to solve these challenges by modernizing the way we network, but it’s no walk in the park. At Nudge, we strongly believe that an individuals network is their net worth and this is why we’ve made it our mission to solve these challenges.
What challenges do you face with trying to manage your growing network in our hyper-connected world?
Nudge is a modern networking app that tracks the strength of your network so you spend less time connecting, more time building relationships that matter.