Networking is an essential part of our professional development. A quick coffee chat could lead to you building connections that will open new opportunities for you in the future. But how can you network when COVID-19 has temporarily closed all your favourite coffee shops and limited your opportunity to meet new people? Here are 4 quick tips for networking during a pandemic!
Work on Building Your Existing Connections
The pandemic has severely impacted our ability to meet new people at work, events and conferences and finding new people to connect with virtually can be a challenge. Not to mention it can be difficult to build meaningful connections online – this often takes more time and care. The solution? Reach out to people you already know! You have likely already established many connections in person before the pandemic – take this time to check back in with these people! Reach out to old friends, classmates, colleagues and even family members. Check back in with these individuals and focus on strengthening these connections. Consider reaching out to people who you have already met but might not have considered a networking opportunity originally.
Take time to identify relationships that might have fallen through the cracks during your busy pre-pandemic days and try to mend/revive these connections. A short pause on meeting new people provides a great opportunity to focus on your existing connections.
Build Up Your Online Personality
This is an important networking tip regardless of the pandemic but is all the more important now. Be sure to build up your online personality! When we network in person we put our best foot forward, letting others get to know us, our values and our personality. When networking virtually people look to your social media pages and online content to help build a picture of who you are. Make sure your online personality is a reflection of yourself and that you are putting your best virtual foot forward. Maintain and manage your social media pages and your online persona – keeping in mind that potential employers, partners and colleagues will see it.
Are your social media pages private or public? do you have separate personal and professional pages? If you only have one page for professional and private information how do you manage content and maintain consistency? These are all important things to consider. Consider new ways of showing your expertise and personality virtually such as starting a blog or writing guest blogs for existing pages.
Take Part in Virtual Networking Events
You may not have normally relied on signing up for different events to expand your network, or found them difficult to work into your busy schedule. With these events now taking place virtually they are easier to attend than ever! Make sure to take the time to join these events as they are one of the few ways to meet new people during the pandemic. The virtual world is fast-paced so be sure to follow up quickly with individuals you meet and reach out for a one-on-one virtual meeting. Most importantly, while attending these events hold yourself up to a high standard. One of the disservices of virtual meetings is that it is easy to become disengaged from behind a computer screen. Be sure to keep your camera on, dress to impress, and speak up often – don’t let the meeting wash over you!
Make Use Of Every Opportunity
You don’t have to only attend virtual networking events to make new connections during the pandemic. Virtual conferences and webinars are more accessible now than they have ever been. Seize every opportunity to strengthen your connections and meet new people by attending these! Webinars are a great way to learn something new and collaborate with your peers and colleagues. Follow up after these events by reaching out to the speaker and other attendees to ask for more information or express your interest in the topic. You will find that if you attend conferences and webinars that interest you, you will meet and foster relationships with like-minded individuals.
KCCT Original Blog
by Aldana Casado, Student Position at the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
The Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism strengthens business, regional recognition and pride of place by serving our members and communities. Proudly representing members in Curve Lake First Nation and the municipalities of Douro-Dummer, North Kawartha, Selwyn & Trent Lakes. Through its many varied programs, events, and activities, the Chamber advances and promotes the well-being and interests of local businesses and the communities they serve.
If you are interested in writing a guest blog for our website please connect with our Membership Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org