Was wondering what if we had a professional networking space focusing on young talents?

I am working to create an interactive youth professional networking app that aims to help the local young buds maintain their career folio and search career opportunities like a game, while delivering the finest of candidates to recruiters in a fast & organized system. It aims to change the conventional way of seeking job and searching talents. By focusing only on youth, its establishing a platform for our country's future leaders i.e. our youth.


Love the thought process behind this! Very much into the idea of gamifying the career opportunity hunt. I would be curious to know what you define as "youth"? Are they still in school looking for professional internships? Or are these people ready to jump into the job market? Jumping off of your original thought, it could be interesting to have a networking platform specifically for youths looking for virtual/remote internships. To jump start this, it would be great to hold a virtual event of some sort to introduce the platform and kickstart networking sessions. Happy to brainstorm this further and work with you on bringing this idea to reality.

Answered 4 years ago

It sounds like a wonderful idea. I would highlight a mentoring aspect within the app. It would be great if a young person can also get advice from an experienced professional. Otherwise it becomes an app like any other job portal where you just search, search and search and then just apply to the next best job offer.

Answered 4 years ago

Networks are important in this technological era. Without proper networks we cannot successfully implement any business project. Networks are everywhere these days, be it online or offline you can feel their presence everywhere. The networks need to be built first.
To build networks and to network:
• The process begins with discovering the benefits in a good and effective network.
• Next step is to learn the tools that make the effective networker. This means learning competencies such as the right attitude, to be a good communicator and to send a clear message.
• Being a good networker includes practicing and building experiences for the rest of the life
• Most of us know something about how, in theory, we should act in networks, but the crux of the matter is to implement it as an actual and natural part of our daily life. Most people struggle with this!
However, in my experience as an IT guy is that concrete guidance can bring energy and enthusiasm, which creates positive changes relatively quickly.
Professionally and socially we meet an average of 200 to 1000 new people every year, so the process of meeting people is not complicated by lack of opportunities, but rather the fact that we don’t know how to manage and develop the network contacts. There is a big difference in the networks we create. Some people have big networks with a lot of people but only a few close relations. Others have smaller networks with great profoundness depth. The new research study “The Strength of Strong Ties in Business Referral Networks” by Dr. Ivan Misner & Max Steén has shown that vague connections (not close relations) give 0.4 contacts or references a year, whereas strong connections on average give 7.4 contacts or references a year. There is no definitive truth about the perfect mix of networks, but the above research study may help qualify your goals on how many face-to-face contacts and how many social media contacts are suitable for your personal challenges and needs.
It can be difficult to define a close relation and how you technically build it. But a simple and good guiding principle can be this VCP composition:
1. Visibility. You must be visible. People need to know who you are.
2. Credibility. Next step is to ensure credibility. Who are you, what are you good at?
3. Profitability. Then a mutual connection is established. You help each other and make a close/strong network relation.
It sounds so simple: you are building up visibility and credibility and then you can profit. Even though it sounds cynical, is must be taken in the right spirit. The strange part is that even though most people can recognize the process, I see people forgetting it repeatedly. A lot of people think they can just bump into people and then expect them to try for them. That is rarely the case. That is why networking requires a lot of patience, involvement, and time. This is also one of the reasons why you should not wait to create a network until you need help or constructive discussion. If you haven’t already started, then start now - it pays off! Remember the opening line “How can I help you”. In this way you will quickly build up trust and a close relation that makes people want to help you when you need help.
There is a personal and often overlooked side benefit by helping others. The moment you help another person or do him a favor, your brain releases the substance dopamine. A substance released when you perform an action connected to the experience of well-being. This means that the brain releases the transmitter substance when you do other people a favour or make them happy. Therefore, to help others is a win-win situation to both you and the person who will get a positive experience or feeling.
I meet a lot of people in India who want to build a good network and say “I would like to get started but I have to read a few more books about networking and body language, get better at small talking and lose a few pounds”. Honestly – the right time will never come. Networking is learned from experience. It must be tried, experienced, and tried and experienced again, and over time you will learn what works for you. So get started, it is the only way you will be good at the discipline of networking, a discipline consisting of a lot of factors you cannot master at once, a discipline where you will learn and experience all the time.
I have always believed in the principle of digital minimalism when I worked in Indian companies. Digital minimalism is a philosophy of technology use in which we focus our online time on small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support the things we value, and then happily miss out everything else.
Networking app should focus on activities that youth of your country prefers, in the current scenario there is a lot of unemployment around the globe. For instance, if you do build an app focusing on young talent it will be profitable venture. Major economies of the world are suffering due to pandemic. The U.S. economy shrank at a dizzying 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter - by far the worst quarterly plunge ever - when the viral outbreak shut down businesses, throwing tens of millions out of work and sending unemployment surging to 14.7%. So dizzying was the economic fall last quarter that most analysts expect the economy to produce a sharp bounce-back in the current July-September period, perhaps of as much as 17% or higher on an annual basis. Yet with the rate of confirmed coronavirus cases having surged in a majority of states, more businesses being forced to pull back on re-openings and the Republican Senate proposing to scale back government aid to the unemployed, the economy could worsen in the months ahead.
Now let us focus on building a network. There are two types of strategies when it comes to building a network:
1) A short-term strategy
2) A long-term strategy
1. Short-term strategy – your strategy here and now: You will need this strategy to define the needs of your network within a limited time period.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. What is my vision for the next year?
2. What do I need help with?
3. Who do I know that can help me get there or who do I need to meet to get there?
Re 1: What is your project for the next year? What do you want to achieve? It could be e.g. education, a new job, starting a business, expanding your business. The vision you choose has to be as concrete as possible. The more concrete, the more functional your vision is in relation to the network mind-set.
Re 2: When the vision is defined, you can move on by finding out what you need help for in completing your vision. Here you will also increase the success rate by being concrete about the jobs you need help with.
Re 3: Here you name the persons or companies that can lead the way or maybe even lead directly to the goal regarding your vision. But remember; only rarely can we go directly. Often, we need to go through several steps before we get to the crux of what we want to accomplish. Also remember often the process is easier if you have prepared the ground by offering your help or if you can have someone recommending you to a contact.
2. Long-term strategy (nodes): This strategy is a result of the fact that TIME is short for most of us. You may be spending a lot of hours on cultivating a big network and that is why the node mind-set is brilliant. To explain nodes, I will use a map with flight routes. Replace the destinations on the map with a person’s network. It is quite clear that the person replacing the airports of Frankfurt or Nairobi has a lot of both ingoing and outgoing contacts. I call such a person a “NODE”. That person reaches out to a lot of different connections and opportunities in the whole world. The advantage of having one or more nodes in your network portfolio is that through these contacts you can reach far in your search. This structure means that you “only” must cultivate your 3-4 nodes instead of cultivating 100-230 contacts.
Apart from these strategies you must keep in mind the following points as well:
1. Use your old contacts: In the hunt for exciting new contacts, a lot of people totally overlook the fact that they have a past. Like-minded people from when they were studying who are now working for different companies. These former fellow students and former colleagues can be an immediate goldmine worth researching. Don’t expect your former colleagues or fellow students to have a new job for you, but references, introductions and professional discussion are also very valuable in these and a lot of other situations.
2. Links to influence: Personal relationships foster trust and fidelity. If you are buying a product where there are no significant differences in quality or price, you will naturally prefer to buy from the person you know. And even if there are significant differences, you will still want to buy from the person you know. Personal recommendations outweigh other considerations when it comes to looking for a new job, marketing, or sales. The fact is that if you need a lawyer, an engineering firm, a web firm, or a partner, you will naturally think of people you know and have good chemistry with, or you will think of someone who has been recommended to you. If you are looking for a job, it is financially worthwhile for you to spend your time seeking out relevant networks and networking, than spending your time writing applications. More than 60 per cent of all jobs are filled through networking and recommendations, so clearly it is pointless to expect to secure a job interview in the conventional way.
3. Look for what you want: It is a good idea to ask yourself whom you admire and whom you associate with.
1) Is it people who possess what you want?
2) Or, is it people who want what you possess?
It makes a big difference whether you answered “yes” to the first or to the second question. If you answered yes to the second question – you have a problem. Sociologically, we human beings tend to seek out and be around people who are like ourselves or who have the same issues as we have. Here we find sympathy and endorsement; but, as businesspeople, we cannot live on that. We must be around people who can inspire us, give good advice, help us progress, and so forth. Consequently, we also need to discover role models and observe their attitudes, manners, and mindset. If you want to succeed with your business or make a career, then find people who have run profitable businesses or have made rapid career progress. Talk to them and learn about their money or their career. You may find that you are the only one who is self-conscious about these things. Financially strong people and people with successful careers are used to talking about both money and career advancement, so these are not taboo conversation topics for them. The fact that you are brave enough to ask about these things can sometimes lead the way to a valuable contact. It can be quite instructive to hear how they handle ideas, money, and investments when these are natural parts of their lives and not just a dream. The beginning of a new mindset could be to read about people who have had fantastic careers or made huge fortunes.
4. Net weaving: Often we think about networking in terms of “What do I get in return?” What do I get in return for all my efforts in creating a network and putting time into it? But this is not the way you should look at networks. If you turn the question “What do I get in return?” round and change it to “How can I help you?”, you have immediately created a different context, and your opposite number will be committed and positive in his attitude.
The American Bob Littell has defined the technique of “Net Weaving”, which focuses on seeing opportunities and making connections with people you meet in your networks.
Instead of asking what you can achieve by contacting a certain person, you can think about pursuing four opportunities:
1) How can I help this person?
2) Do I know someone in my network that might be able to give him or her a push forward?
3) Could this person be beneficial to someone in my network?
4) This person is remarkably interesting – how can I integrate him into my network?
By turning your way of thinking towards networking and helping rather than receiving, you signal energy and social competence. The technique is constructive in making long-term relationships, and it is amazingly effective at network meetings or during breaks at conferences and the like. The process can be guided by a facilitator – thereby ensuring that you are all working based on the same principles. The switch from focusing on “me” to focusing on “you” almost always produces an unselfish attitude in your counterparts, and the unselfish attitude which tends to be the norm at conventional network meetings anyway will morph into enthusiasm and intensive intimacy.
I believe your idea is fabulous one, and if you keep these things that I have mentioned above it you can surely make huge profits.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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