Networking While Social Distancing is Possible—Here’s How
With the government and health officials advising people to avoid social gatherings and stay at home, you would think that keeping connections and building new ones has become virtually impossible. You won’t be able to catch up with friends over brunch, join colleagues for after-work drinks, or meet new professional connections in business conferences. However, you can still continue networking even at a safe distance and not face to face.
Women Unlimited CEO Rosina Racioppi thinks that remote networking is not difficult. She leads a leadership-development training and consulting firm that focuses on advancing women at big companies like Google, American Express, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems. She says that what keeps people from networking—especially those who are working from home for the first time—is the fact that they forget to do it.
This can be quite understandable considering the pressures and distractions during this time. However, strengthening your professional connections and looking for new ones could benefit you after the pandemic ends. For now, these 4 tips could help you network in the time of the coronavirus.
Reach Out to Old Clients
Former Twitter editorial director Karen Wickre recommends allocating a few minutes of your day to reconnecting with old clients you haven’t heard from for a while now. Ask them how they’re doing during this crisis and what you can do to help them. This is not a sales call but a goodwill call, and they’ll surely remember it later.
Take The Time To Update Your LinkedIn
If you haven’t made the most out of your LinkedIn profile since you last looked for a job, then the right time is now. Update your profile, ask your contacts for recommendations, join interest groups, and comment on other people’s posts. The point for this is for recruiters to spot you and remember you since they’re now browsing through social media more than usual.
Add New Contacts
You should be thinking creatively about the new contacts you could add to your network. However, Racioppi says that you should pick the right people. One of the networking mistakes people tend to do is being drawn to connect to what’s most comfortable, validate their lives, and confirm what they already know of.
However, this notion contradicts the research that Racioppi has released. Based on the findings, most of those who found success in business got to where there are now due to building connections with people who are experts in and outside their industry. Connecting with those who have different beliefs can also broaden your perspective.
Arrange For Informational Interviews
Weirdly, this may be the time to ask for informational interviews. If you’re thinking whether to go for a new job offer, then interview someone who holds this job and ask about their experience. Instead of meeting them up face-to-face, a quick Skype chat or phone call would suffice most of the time.
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