Building a strong professional network is one of the top pieces of advice from successful business people. New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley, in an article for Fortune, wrote “When I think about my own career, I owe every job I’ve ever had to networking.” There was also a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology that examined the effects of networking on career success. The study found that networking behaviors contribute to salary growth over time and higher levels of career satisfaction, leading the researchers to conclude “networking can be considered an investment that pays off in the future.”
Although LinkedIn remains one of the best sites for professional networking, there are a handful of other professional sites that can help you cast a wider net. Here are some alternative networking sites for business professionals, entrepreneurs and master of business administration students.
GadBall features free resume templates, career assessment tools, job search agents, resume distribution channels and more. GadBall also offers free career advice ranging from interview questions to salary negotiation tips to help confidently pursue whatever job opportunity presents itself.
Unlike other business networking sites which require you to search through thousands of profiles to uncover opportunities, Opportunity does the work for you thanks to sophisticated matching algorithms that scan millions of professional profiles and connect you with the people who are a good fit for your business and/or career. Opportunity can be used to help job seekers discover employment opportunities, generate sales for business and connect professionals based on location, industry, shared interested, skill sets and other signals.
Meetup facilitates real-world, face-to-face group meetings better than most other sites aimed at professional relationship building. The website has close to 30 million members in 179 countries and “Meetup Groups” organized around various interests such as photography and beauty to career development and business opportunities. Meetup is a great way to interact with like-minded professionals in your area, and the face-to-face nature of the meetings can help you build more beneficial connections faster than other networking sites.
Beyond is one of the oldest, largest and most successful networking websites you’ve probably never heard of. Since 1998, Beyond has served as one of the premier online destinations for companies in need of top talent, connecting more than 45 million professionals in the fields of business, technology, healthcare and marketing. Unlike most job-listing sites, Beyond allows members to create custom profiles and connect with other members to foster genuine business relationships. The site also utilizes integrated social features to help members discover relevant news, advice and resources central to career growth and professional development.
StartupNation is a vibrant community of business owners and entrepreneurs who participate in forums, join local meetup groups, write expert blogs and generally help one another succeed however they can. The website claims to feature over 250,000 pages of content relevant to small business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s free to register and members instantly have access to the community forums where they can post questions to (and answer questions from) other business owners and entrepreneurs.
Networking can lead to greater career opportunities, but only so far as your experience and education will take you. The Online M.B.A. from Manhattan College offers you the practical, real-world business training and development needed to reach the very top of your career. Request information or call (855) 841-2843 to speak with an advisor.