COM0015 – Blog #3: Professional Networking Now and in the Future | My plan for networking during a global pandemic

Developing your professional network is very important, both online and in person. Typically, I find it easier to expand my network in person, and continue to cultivate the connection online later. I recently finished my undergrad, and thus much of my networking experience is from my time in university. There were many networking events on my university campus that I would attend to meet new people and expand my network. These would usually be hosted by my faculty and they’d invite students and alumni from related industries to congregate and mingle with each other. For any new contacts I would make at these events, I would be sure to follow up based on the contact information I have for them, for example sending a LinkedIn message, and reach out to them after the event. Some of these contacts I would meet for a coffee chat later and discuss business, trends, career goals, professional development resources, and more. During my last year of university my classes would often have guest speakers that were alumni of the school and had since graduated and had successful business careers. I would make it a point to go up to them after class and say a quick thank you for sharing their insight and experiences with us. Often times we would end up adding each other on LinkedIn or connecting again and having a chat.

In light of the current global pandemic happening, I’m not able to continue in person activities to grow my network. Until we are able to return to a time where public gatherings are safe again, I will be using this time to focus on and strengthen the network I already have.  I plan to make use of this time spent staying inside by setting up virtual coffee chats to keep in touch with my network. I think it’s important to contact members of your network and interact with them every now and again. This is a unique opportunity right now, as many people are also craving social time. By setting up calls with people in my network it will strengthen our connection and allow us to discuss relevant information for our line of work, as well as help fulfill our social needs in these trying times.

One thought on “COM0015 – Blog #3: Professional Networking Now and in the Future | My plan for networking during a global pandemic

  1. Hi Lindsay, what a great opportunity you have had increasing your networking through your university classes. What better place to talk and meet with people who have similar interests in subjects and also meet in person those who you might not have had a chance to meet in the course of working at a business. It’s great that you have been able to connect with new people and expand that network.
    I have had the opportunity to take some courses at the Justice Institute and one of the classes that I took was on presenting. One of my uncomfortable fears is actually talking to people that I don’t know and I found that in this class I was able to step outside of my fear and talk with the others in the class and find out that quite a few of them also suffered the same affliction.
    I find that networking in person really pushes those fears but it is also a necessity if you want to expand your knowledge in subjects that others hold the key to. That’s why most of my networking is done online where I don’t have to fear standing in a group trying to find a way into the conversation. When you are online talking, you have the option of choosing a safe location for yourself.
    Now that we find ourselves in this dictated social distancing, online networking has taken on a different meaning all together. No longer are we just networking for business needs but also to maintain the social connectedness with family and friends. I do think there may be a bright side to this though in that I believe professional networking will become more personable as we lengthen the work conversations to talk more about what’s important in our lives. We might find that the person we network in business with has more in common with us personally than we originally thought.
    I hope that your time of social distancing gives you the opportunities to strengthen your ties and that you are able to learn a bit more and share a bit more. Good luck and continued success in building up a strong network of people that you can talk with.

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