Person-to-person communication and the online community continue to co-exist not compete. 

Experts, including this one, are apt to jump at the opportunity to discuss the various ways the legal landscape has changed with the increased use of social media, online marketing and virtual networking. These are of course important outlets for both a newcomer and a senior practitioner. Staying active online is no longer “an extra,” but the default. Yet with all this chatter about how to meet online, online professional communities, e-mail etiquette, social profiles, social media marketing and the like, we have failed to address the other conversation to be had about networking.

Person-to-Person: Alive and Well.

It may seem trite, archaic, obsolete or “old-school” – but rest assured, person-to-person networking is still alive and well. Person-to-person, face-to-face, in-person, or what many would term “real” networking is still an important asset for any young professional. Whether around the boardroom, at a conference, in a restaurant, while attending a professional development seminar, or in any other social environment, your person-to-person networking ability will be put to the test, and hopefully be put to good use.

Networking is both a tool and a skill.

Networking is a great tool at all stages of your legal and professional career, particularly when one is on the job hunt. Don’t forget: merit speaks wonders, but a good word from a trusted colleague says so much more.

Networking is a skill that must be practiced, honed, and mastered. In the process of learning this particular skill, you are bound to have a few slip-ups along the way.

Stay Tuned: Mistakes to Avoid.

Next week, be sure to read our blog post about the most common mistakes young professionals make when they attempt to person-to-person network, right out of the starting block. Whether you are early in your career or in the midst of a mid-career transition, you don’t want to miss our tips and tricks to side step the social faux-pas that so many fall prey to.

For more tips about person-to-person networking, check out Paul Bernard’s “6 Tips for Networking.”