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Which is better, the old form of networking that highlighted the initial face-to-face contact or the more efficient but sterile click-and-connect methodology of today’s LinkedIn?

I vote for a hybrid model.

You do not need thousands of contacts unless your career plan includes peddling products or services online.

John G.Self

Besides, if your goal is to create a robust network that will support your career growth, you do not need thousands of contacts unless your plan includes peddling products or services online.

So, what is a hybrid model?

First, it is an essential component of a robust strategic networking plan.

Second, it should include tactics that will allow you to meld the strengths of traditional networking with the advantages of LinkedIn – opportunities for face-to-face encounters interspersed with periodic meetings, video emails, and the sharing of information on issues of mutual interest.

It all begins with how you build your network.  Do your networking activities align with your career plan?  If they do not, you could be wasting time. 

More on this tomorrow.