How to Network Virtually in the Middle of a Global Pandemic

With the arrival of Covid-19, lunchtime coffees, afterworks, working lunches and dinners have all been suspended. Our networking options have moved almost entirely online, making it all the more difficult to establish and maintain a personal connection. So how do you go about networking in these increasingly uncertain and stressful times? Below are tips on how to network virtually:

Determine your goals

Are you looking to strengthen your relationships with your colleagues? Make more connections in your field? Finding some opportunities, maybe getting a board position or more conferences? Think about what you want from your relationships and professional connections, and think about who you know who could advise you on this or put you in touch with someone who can. But give your networking intention, otherwise you will aimlessly contact people with no goal in mind, which is a waste of time and time for the desired contact.

Start with the people you know

Think about your co-workers, friends, and family who can help you achieve your goal or connect you with someone who can. Networking doesn’t necessarily mean going to artificial events with badges and strangers, it can just mean making friends in your field and maintaining those friendships, and maintaining a good relationship with family members in your field. It’s always a good idea to check out your alma mater’s career center and see if there are any active alumni in your field who would be happy to talk with you. These are all resources waiting to be exploited, use them.

Schedule Zoom meetings regularly

Talking to people face to face always helps improve the connection. Check in with friends, family and co-workers just like you would in person, but via Zoom. It’s not the same, but everyone is navigating Covid-19 as best they can, and maintaining a social routine is important, so make sure and maintain a robust virtual social calendar despite the awkwardness and the occasional strain of getting used to a new routine.

Engage people on social media

Maintain a modest to active social media presence: post interesting articles, a funny video once in a while, keep in touch with friends and family online on the social media platform of your choice. It’s an easy and fun way to get to know people, get in touch with people, send private messages to ask how people are doing, send them items you think they would find interesting. It’s a simple and organic way to stay in touch and start spontaneous conversations.

Update your LinkedIn

Updating your LinkedIn lets everyone in your network know that you’ve updated your profile, inviting current connections and potential employers to read your updates, including what you’re looking for professionally. So be sure to express clearly what you are looking for and don’t wait for others to contact you, scroll through your online contacts to see if there is anyone you should get in touch with that you don’t. ‘ve not thought immediately.

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