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Effective Networking During the Age of ‘Social Distancing’



Effective Networking

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The worlds of personal interaction and professional development have always been intertwined. A person’s ‘network’ can be the difference between a promotion and a new job; and being stuck at the same dead-end job for the rest of your career. Unfortunately much of the business world has become less about what you know and more about who yo know; and this is simply the way of the world. Why do you think so many UK Prime Ministers have come from one school? It is all about who you know. Personal relationships are an incredibly important to career growth and development, and they have become difficult to foster in the age of social distancing and during the pandemic. So, how is it possible to effectively network with connections while not actually in person? To do this, you need to think about 3 main factors: all while adjusting your techniques and expectations. Let’s look at an easy 3-step process for effective networking during times of (physical) social distance.

1. Think About your Current Network

Before you begin looking at meeting new people and expanding your network, it is important to take into account your current social capital. As Jessica Richards, a business blogger at Elite assignment help and UK Writings, said, “What connections do you already have? Who do you know in the sector you are working or wanting to work in? Who do your parents know? Do you have unexploited potential connections in the networking marketplace?”

As well as considering your potential unexploited connections in the networking marketplace, it is also crucial to foster the relationships that you currently possess in your personal and professional network. Remind people that they are important, that their effort is appreciated, and that you enjoy working for or with them. No one will want to be a part of your professional network and potentially help you out in the future if they do not have fond memories of working with you or being around you.

2. Social Media (the one thing without social distancing)

Social media has become a crucial part of the 21st century workplace, and would have been important anyway; but has become absolutely vital during the recent pandemic and its subsequent imposed social distancing. The most popular professional social media is LinkedIn, and this can be used to connect with people that you have worked with, know through other colleagues, people you would like to potentially have in your network, and even people you have personal relationships with. Using your LinkedIn account is key in an age of social distancing where you do not have traditional in-person networking events. Replace these networking events with time spent trying to expand your circle and connect with people on social media apps such as LinkedIn instead.

3. Take Advantage of Virtual Networking Events

As I mentioned in the previous point, networking events are crucial to increasing your circle and fostering professional relationships. Conferences gather a large amount of people with similar interests, skills, and opinions; really people who could potentially all be in your network. Due to the fact that these are not happening in person at the moment, they are being held online on websites such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams. Rhonda Mullins, a lifestyle writer at UK Writings and State of writing, commented, “Joining one of these online conferences are the closest thing you can get to a networking conference at the moment; and a great idea to not only keep up to date with new ideas in your field, but also keep up to date with the influential and important people in it.”

The real world and social media world are becoming increasingly intertwined by the day. Contacts and connections that you make on social media are just as real as ones that you used to make at networking events or business and industry conferences. Joining discussion groups, attending panels and virtual events, and sending people LinkedIn invites are just as effective and sometimes more helpful and long-lasting than old-fashioned networking techniques. Even though the pandemic and social distancing have gotten in the way of many of our day-to-day activities, they do not have to stop our career growth, professional development, and networking. With the right tools, advice, and attitude towards it, online networking can be just as effective from behind a computer screen.

Elizabeth Hines is an online digital marketer and article writer for Paper Fellows and Big Assignments. She mostly focuses her writing on the latest business and technology trends. She also writes for Study demic.

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