The recent pandemic has massively altered how people previously interacted and behaved around other people. Several authorities issued regulatory guidelines restricting congregations, conferences or any form of gathering to effectively minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Without the conventional methods of meeting, networking has become a major challenge, especially for people looking to jumpstart or advance their careers. Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, businesses and individuals still need to engage in networking to continue operating.
Due to this need, organizations and people have come up with innovative ways to continue networking without posing any health risk to the parties involved. The networking avenues for networking have significantly changed. However, this does not affect your chance of creating a meaningful connection even without the human element of physically meeting. Some of these new methods are set to dominate the globe long after the pandemic.
This article is centered on some of the tips you can consider to successfully career network post-pandemic.
Build your digital presence
The recent pandemic saw an increase in online activities, with people moving to various online platforms to connect with people from different geographical locations. With more and more people moving to a digital space, you need to work on building your presence online. There are various platforms that can work to your advantage. Some of which include LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and many more. With a digital profile, you can effectively reach a great number of professionals across a range of industries.
Keep in mind that currently, potential employers also have an online presence. This means they will probably review your online profile to know more about you and the value you can add to their organization.
These online platforms also give you a chance to connect to alumni who attended the same college. This means you can effectively leverage this technology to bridge the gap and getting exposure to new opportunities.
Reach out to the younger generation
During career networking, most people tend to aim for higher connections. Despite having its advantages, this narrows your chance of getting noticed since the higher-ups tend to be swarmed with too many responsibilities. To effectively network post the pandemic, it is best to aim for the younger professionals. Aim for a professional one or two rungs above you. This is because the individuals within this bracket tend to be more empathetic about your current situation since not long ago, they were in the same position.
Join online professional groups and organizations
As stated before, most employers currently have an online presence. Some of them are using this opportunity to scout for new talents. Through your online accounts, you can join virtual groups that align with your specific career interests. By joining these online platforms, you can get direct access to other virtual panels that can be just what you need to climb that ladder on your next career phase.
Don’t just join these panels and groups, email or message the moderators and panelists. Be sure to talk about mutual career interests with a focus on some of the current trends in the field. With these platforms, you don’t have to go through the hassle of talking to a total stranger. Platforms such as Facebook also offer an opportunity to casually converse with industry players, meet experts and even view resources on various job listings in your field of expertise.
When networking, you need to review what you are bringing to the table when meeting your connections. You can schedule a recurring meeting to go over activities that occurred since your last communication. This way, you can discuss new opportunities that either of you may be in need of. Being a digital era, you need to be actively present in your contacts’ social accounts such as Instagram and Facebook. You can do this by presenting them with opportunities they qualify for, and they may do so. That the entire basis of networking, adding value to one another.
Don’t ask for a job
It’s a rookie mistake to ask for a job during the initial stages of networking. This can put out a desperate vibe to a potential connection. As a general rule in networking, it is advisable to hold off on asking for a job during the initial stages. Networking involves sharing. You need to build trust between you and the connection before they can offer you an opportunity with limited information on you. Being a give or take relationship, networking works in terms of helping where who can the connection be of help to in your network and who in their network can be of help to you.
Give it our best
When establishing your online presence or approaching a potential network, it is best to put your best forward. First impressions are very important. Make sure you have the best headshot photo for your profile and email. Make sure your name can appear on a Google search or on a platform such as LinkedIn displaying your achievements. This is probably one of the best ways to ensure seamless online networking.
Sustain relationships through check-ins
Maintaining your connection can be very difficult. However, with regular check-ins, you can work towards a long-term relationship. An example is when conversing with one of your contacts or supervisors, a simple greeting can suffice with an attachment of your current engagement or project. Be sure to maintain your original email to avoid confusing your contacts.
You can as well go over social media posts regularly. When you come across a major win for one of your contacts or former acquaintances, give them a thumbs up or even email to congratulate them. One thing you should remember is that not all relationships can be sustained. Don’t strain yourself trying to maintain all your contacts. Doing so may cause you to lose some or most of your contacts. Focus on the ones you actually need.
Career networking post-pandemic will largely be based on an online presence. You need to work on building a solid online profile. This way, you can expand your horizons across your current geographical location.