Networking Apps that Can Change the Way You Work

Kate Ferguson
Jun 24, 2019 · 5 min read

Using these apps can open you up to entirely new people and opportunities, in your current job and beyond. (They did for me!)

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Image by Robin Worrall

I was a bit late to the networking game. For years I was attempting to find some success in the entertainment industry while freelancing as a writer. Mostly this meant going on auditions and working from home the rest of the time. Alone.

Ultimately I was trying to figure out how to live a creative life while also being able to pay the bills, which is very much possible. But how I was going about that attempt was not the most productive way. I was juggling a lot of dead-end gigs. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful for each of them, but there wasn’t always a lot of space to progress. Growing into the next opportunity would mean finding a new opportunity altogether. But I couldn’t even begin to see where I might find the next thing. I was not one to ask for help.

At a certain point, I read the book Never Eat Alone, which dispelled many of my preconceived ideas around what networking even entailed. It confirmed my suspicion that I wasn’t connecting with other professionals as much as I should be. I realized that networking would be a necessity for sustaining the freelance work life I was trying to uphold, and I reminded myself that while I had some needs…I also had a lot to offer.

With that in mind I considered that networking might even be fun. I read the book again, (just to be sure), and then hit the ‘ol web with a search for “online networking.” The following are some apps I discovered then and have used along the way.

Shapr

I made swiping through Shapr a daily habit over breakfast, and in addition to making a lot of thoughtful connections in general, I’ve also found a lot of work. In fact, the app helped me pivot and dramatically expand the type of work that I do. In a traditional application process, I might not have ever included some of my creative hobbies that weren’t directly applicable to the job at hand.

But having my personal social media linked on my Shapr account ended up being the door opener for my work in social media, tech, and fashion. I am a real-life example that an authentic Instagram account (or any other chosen social site), can be a great addition to a work portfolio. Shapr encouraged me to include it all in one place and introduced to me to some great people.

Bumble Bizz

There’s definitely a lot to sort through on there, but I have connected with a lot of people with very similar goals as mine within the entertainment industry and digital marketing. It’s also worth noting that I met one of my screenwriting partners on the dating portion of Bumble. That’s a long story, but a good one. I made a friend with whom I have a short film in pre-production now.

LinkedIn

Note: You should expect to receive a lot of auto-generated self-promoting messages on this app, but they all seemed to be well-intentioned. The community on the LinkedIn app is very active, and if you share a post asking a question, seeking work, or sharing an inspirational experience, there’s a good chance that it could get shared and read many times outside of your current network.

Mixer

Renge

Of course, like anything else, you get out of networking apps what you put into them. Chatting with people and meeting up in real life does take some commitment. It doesn’t always turn into lasting working relationships. But I would say that it’s always educational in one way or another. At the least, it’s most certainly opened my mind and changed the way I work.

Kate Ferguson is an L.A. based writer and creative. She is the founder of Divvy Magazine, as well as works in entertainment, tech, and social media. Find her online or get in touch directly at thekateferg@gmail.com.

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Kate Ferguson

Written by

L.A. based writer, producer, media creative. thekateferg.com. Founder DivvyMag.com. IG: @KateFerg

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +734K people. Follow to join our community.

Kate Ferguson

Written by

L.A. based writer, producer, media creative. thekateferg.com. Founder DivvyMag.com. IG: @KateFerg

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +734K people. Follow to join our community.

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