I wanted to continue to demystify social networking by talking to someone whom I think is a pro at social networking. I met Vivian Lee Croft through social networking guru Tom Baker. Vivian attended a monthly networking event Tom and I co-host called Power Hour. I wanted to talk with Vivian because I like concrete examples of this idea of social networking.
RA: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
VLC: This is hard. I’m essentially a professional volunteer. I’ve a degree in Creative Writing and also Communications and Rhetorical Studies. I’ve helped my friend Laura Miller work on her amazing Secret Agent L project since we met at Duquesne two years ago. I bike and hike and hang out with my boyfriend and our two dogs. I co-host a morning networking event with Tom Baker each month called The Morning Mix.
VLC: I think the term can come across as stale and self-serving. Its probably not a term young adults think is applicable to them. In fact, in my introduction to networking, I’ve found young adults to be great at social networking. I’ve attended events full of young adults and events with older professionals. Young adults actually put the term ‘social networking’ to good use.
I’ve made great friends and wonderful professional contacts through networking events. Young people are excited about affecting their communities and are really committed to working together for positive results.
VLC: Networking has been a key component in introduction to and inclusion in Pittsburgh. It introduced me to my boyfriend. It introduced me to great friends. It provided me with a job. It has allowed me to get involved with projects and in organizations I may not have found on my own. It’s the reason I love Pittsburgh.
VLC: I’m actually quite shy and approaching people I don’t know is sometimes kind of scary. But I like events that allow young adults to mingle and connect in their projects and find each other on that sort of grass roots level. I have lots of friends who introduce and connect their friends via email, which I’m a big fan of.
VLC: Don’t be shy; bring a friend and attend a variety of events, even if you think a certain event is not your style or is not exactly the right fit for you. Networking is just that – it’s expanding your network and growing your personal community. You never know – the next person to help you get to your next goal could be someone you’d never meet in your traditional network. The next person you could hep reach their goal could be at a networking event or a happy hour or a mixer that you’d never thought of attending previous to telling yourself, “Alright, I’ll check this out.”
Thanks Vivian for your great advice, and to all of us reading this post, as Tom Baker would say, Get Involved today! Power Hour and the Morning Mix are two great ways to kick start your involvement in the community!