Networking looks a lot different now than it did over a year ago and some of the tactics you previously used no longer are relevant. And yet, one of the most critical tools to help people further along their career is networking. So how can you effectively and safely do that in today’s environment? Below we’ll give you some suggestions…
Moving from In-person to Digital
While face-to-face networking is currently on hold, many are switching to phone calls or videocalls. If you have an option, we recommend choosing the latter where you can see who you are talking to. This will make it feel more personal and easier to establish a connection. On the same note, if you will be having a zoom or skype meeting, always get your environment ready and test the connection beforehand.
Rethink Your Icebreaker
At a time when many are struggling, it would be a good idea to rethink your usual greeting or icebreaker. Instead of something casual like, “How are you? Hope things are well!”, get more personal. It doesn’t have to be complicated but when in doubt practice human kindness and be authentic in your greeting. Perhaps you can ask how they are holding up, and then share a bit of how you’re fairing and changes you’ve been through this last year. If it’s a stranger, obviously don’t overshare, but during this challenging time it is important to be compassionate and sincere.
Embrace Social Media
With our lives being more digitally focused than ever before, it’s important to embrace the advantages of social media and use it to help further your career and build your network. If you previously only used LinkedIn occasionally, begin posting fresh content across all your social media platforms. Post links to interesting and helpful articles or funny (work related and appropriate) content. Posting more frequently will keep you top-of-mind with your network and ideally help expand your reach.