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Professional Networking in a Social Age

Networking has been complicated by social networks and globalization.

Once upon a time, when someone was looking for corporate accounting jobs or just hoping to network, he or she could hand out a business card or share their phone number, Nick Bilton writes for The New York Times. Yet the proliferation of online contact repositories has made the process more complicated.

 

"Now we have to decide where to send people online whom we meet in real life," Bilton laments. "Friend me on Facebook; follow me on Twitter; e-mail me; go to my personal website. Oh, forget it, just Google me."

Tony Conrad, co-founder of the one-stop online profile service About.me, told Bilton that while the ways of sharing our contact details and networking have transformed in recent years, one thing remains the same: There's still only one chance to give colleagues and others a first impression.

Cross-cultural networking is another concern, considering the increasingly globalized business world in which CPAs and CFOs have to operate.

Writing for the Harvard Business Review, Andy Molinsky notes that certain approaches to networking can be seen as too direct, just right or not enough, depending on both parties' countries of origins. To overcome this issue, he advises taking cues from others in the same networking situation, practicing your introductions and realizing that being polite yet positive about your skills is appropriate.