On Wednesday March 31, the ESA welcomed Sean Hand, the founder of the Awkward Networker. Sean is also an author, public speaker, and Director of Relationship Development for a global professional services firm. Sean is an expert on all things networking and relationship building and offered the ESA some helpful tips and advice to become better, stronger, and more confident networkers. To keep updated with the times we are in, Sean felt it right to create a presentation based on virtual networking and how to adapt to these changes.
To kick start our meeting, Sean explained why networking is important to developing our professional careers:
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,”
is the central phrase Sean gave as an example to explain his accelerated growth in his industry. He even went as far as to say “the amount of acceleration I had in my career because of people that I have met and the people I have added to my network are leaps in the amount of whatever I learned in college.”
Sean followed with examples of how he virtually networks and explained that his success in networking has only gotten better in many ways. He mentions some things that have not changed when it comes to networking in person versus online like: preparation, developing coaches, follow up, and the concept of enlightened self interest. For each aspect that has not changed, Sean offered up wonderful advice and initiatives to take in order to tackle the awkwardness head on, both in person and virtually. When it comes to aspects of networking that have changed from in-person to virtual meetings, they include: spontaneity, creativity, and the idea of push and pull factors.
On behalf of the ESA, I would like to thank Sean for taking the time to educate and offer his expertise to all of us. This was a truly informative meeting with advice included that I am sure we will all remember and put to use in the very near future!