Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Professional or personal?

a woman on the phone
Are you expanding your professional or your personal network?

Your focus for each will be different, although you might have some people forming part of both networks.

To form a network we need to have some commonality – a shared purpose, a shared belief, a shared understanding – something around which we can build a relationship.

It’s also important to remember that both will be continually evolving. People will drop off our network as our and their career and life progresses. We need to ensure we are adding new people to our network, as well as maintaining those relationships which are still in common with ourselves.

Building your network is not about collecting business cards nor is it “Friend”-ing or “Following” people on social media.

Networking online

There are certainly many people who believe this is the case. I know I get requests to “Connect” on LinkedIn by people I’ve never met or communicated with before – and for me, it begs the question “Why?” What benefit is there to them to be connected with someone they don’t know?

In today’s age, we connect and interact with others in person, via video, via phone, via email, and even (once we’ve “meet” someone) via text.

I share therefore I am: the dangers of isolation from excessive exposure through technology – people or technology as our connection…

Consider these supplementary videos:

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

It does make you wonder:
  • How we have adapted our language to suit that used by software, but also – What are the expectations of our online interactions?
  • Do we believe that it replaces in-person interactions?

© CQUniversity 2021
This article is from the free online

Building Effective Professional Networks and Relationships

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now