No one can deny the generational gap between baby boomers and millennials. With a new group of young adults entering the market, we are in for a big change. If you want to include younger generations in your network, you have to know how they network with each other.
Learn how to Adapt!
Adaptability is the key. With a constantly changing economy, technology, and society, it is less important to know how to do something than it is to know how to adapt to something new.
Young people love technology. They grew up with all the information in the world at their fingertips, and communication has never been easier or faster. While meeting someone in person is always ideal (and yes, young people still know this), you can also connect with anyone on the globe.
It’s all about the Social Media
Here’s how it works: Millennials meet someone in person, be introduced by a friend, or stumble upon each other on the internet. One of the most common declarations of friendship is a social media friend request. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great for keeping tabs with friends and family, and they’re great for business too. It may seem strange to let your professional network mingle with your personal life, but young people see this as a way to test whether your values are compatible. But this is not the case for everyone; some have separate accounts for their business, and it’s always good to ask permission before sending that friend request.
The request is accepted, and after exploring each other’s online profile, the millennial may decide their online friend would be a great collaborator or may know of someone they can be introduced to — So they send a social media message. Not an email, not a phone call, a direct message on social media. Other options can be great, but people are more likely to respond to someone they already have a friendly relationship with, and interacting with someone on social media ahead of that first message means you already know what that person is like and whether they will fit your office culture.
Don’t Learn Social Media, Grow With it
Not only are millennials tech savvy, they’re always looking for the next big thing. Think about it: they saw the rise of the laptop, smartphone, internet, iPad, YouTube, Facebook, and Google. They witnessed (and created) so many technological advances that changed the way their business worked. In other words, they mastered the art of adapting. This means that it is less important to know how to do any particular thing and crucial that you know how to use technology to learn new things and become more productive.
We are living in an uncertain and constantly changing work environment. Millennials are working to use whatever tools they can find to keep them ahead. Tapping into this mindset, and knowing where they spend their energy online is crucial to creating a successful network for a new generation.