Even though many traditional means of connecting with your fellow professionals – like having lunch, attending a big conference, or meeting for Happy Hour – have been rendered impossible by ongoing pandemic restrictions, you can still network effectively as you continue to grow your career. It’s all about relationship building – and this doesn’t have to mean being in a person’s physical presence. You just need to be a little more creative.
It’s Not About You
Relationships are two-way streets. A great way to launch your networking strategy is to make a list of things you could do for people to whom you’d like to reach out. Eventually, as the old adage goes, one hand washes the other.
- Whatever tactics you use, never start a networking conversation with “I need a job.” This is taboo in the best of times, but especially right now. Your initial message should convey kindness, sincerity, and authenticity. Begin with something as simple as, “Just reaching out and hoping your healthy and doing okay.” Or just ask, “How are you holding up?” and share something about your own situation during this ongoing crisis.
- Step out of your comfort zone. A majority of the average person’s contacts are the same as or similar to their own racial, cultural, and social demographic. As you expand your professional horizon, you may find something in common with a person who is different from you.
Phone – or email or video chat with – a friend.
Industry expert and author David Barkus reaffirms that the most effective way to network is to send a quick message once a week to a friend or other connection and let them know you’re thinking of them and would like to catch up. From one contact, you make another as you widen your reach.
- It doesn’t have to be a strictly professional contact. You can network through your church, neighborhood, book club, or virtual fitness classmates.
- You have a built-in icebreaker. Speaking of the glass being half full: one upside to the pandemic is that it’s easy to get a conversation started. It’s a good opportunity to check-in and sees how someone, or their business, is doing. Be thoughtful and show you care. Your entire life doesn’t have to be transactional.
Just about everyone can video conference.
Be it Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or another virtual platform, videoconferencing has become a staple in life, so take advantage of it. You can bet that just about all your contacts now have the right app and a webcam! Video calls can make it easier to establish a connection, especially with someone new.
- Give yourself a few minutes to prepare. Make sure your technology is working properly so you can be at ease during the call.
Grow Your Career
In what field can networking be more critical than recruiting? If you need more tips on how to make it happen as you nurture your talent management career, contact Search Wizards today. Recruiting is all we do, and we’ll tap you into our expertise, resources, and coast-to-coast network. We look forward to building a lasting relationship with you.