Networking on Lockdown
There are so many ways to meet people!
Did you know: There are over 8,000 membership organisations and associations based in the United Kingdom with memberships of over 1,000 individuals per organisations. The figure for smaller organisations is far higher at approximately 50,000.
While many organisations have toiled through trying times before, the exponential rise of COVID-19 cases around the world has brought a troubling new twist. It has drastically changed the way we work, communicate, and socialize and left us with the challenge of making big changes in the way we network in a matter of days on an extraordinary scale. Considering everyone has been affected one way or another by the pandemic, the good news is networking has become gentler and more supportive!
How important is networking?
Networking is something that we all know we should be doing, but it's often uncertain how to go about doing it. However, there's a reason that networking comes up so frequently in career discussions - it works! Whether you're looking for new members of your organisation or expanding new reaches, networking is a valuable tool that should be practiced by everyone.
What can you do to build your network during COVID-19?
1. Be visible
Update your online profiles with your current experiences and skills. Your social media accounts are your stage, what people perceive from these platforms tell people who you are. Go out of your comfort zone and connect with like-minded people. Set your mind on the things that you want to achieve and the rest will follow.
2. Just check-in
Technology makes it easier for us to reach out to people. Are your old bosses, co-workers, and business friends part of your network? If not, look them up and send them a connection request. Ask them how they are doing in life, ask them if they need help, and where you can help. The secret to building genuine relationships is showing up and just checking in! It’s as simple as letting someone know you are thinking about them.
3. Connect with new people
It’s important to remember that we are all in this together. Don’t forget to participate or contribute to online discussions, attend webinars, virtual conferences, and online networking events that support your interest. Building great connections is one way to brainstorm new ideas.
4. Keep the consistency
You need to understand that the work doesn’t stop there, it is only getting started. The deal is not just about making a new connection but maintaining that relationship. Be intentional about keeping in touch. Sometimes, networking isn’t just about gaining and earning, sometimes, it’s more about building and reconnecting.
5. Aspire to learn more & innovate
With coronavirus on the rise, we need our networks now more than ever. Keep on learning new ideas and explore different methods. Look for ways on how you can improve your existing strategies and how you can develop it more effectively. Maintaining networks and sharing information and experiences through social media, emails, webinars, and videoconferencing can be emotionally and socially uplifting to a member of your network’s survival.
Through this, executives like you are in a position now where, with some hard work and coordination, you can emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before!
The writer consumed so much caffeine researching how to network amidst the pandemic. With so much going on in the world, she came up with a list that will help organizations stay on top throughout this challenging time. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.