At the moment, every aspect of our lives is being altered, possibly permanently, by the current Coronavirus pandemic. Never before have global rules around how we meet people, do business and interact changed so dramatically or so quickly. Networking will be very different at this time, for the rest of this year, and possibly much longer too.
Networking has always been about making connections. Some people prefer face to face networking, and some are more comfortable with online, or less direct forms of networking. To network right now, it will take gaining a comfort level with new technologies and platforms that allow us to connect virtually as most all in person or group events are cancelled.
Top Strategies for Networking in a Pandemic:
Be Authentic in your interactions. If online introductions are new or awkward for you, dont be afraid to recognize that and be yourself.
Test out new technology before reaching out to use it the first time. If you are a new Zoom user, set up your first meet up with a family member to become more comfortable with the platform.
Use this extra time to self educate on areas of professional interest. Reach out to connect with others who share those interests.
Stay connected with your local networks and remember there will be a time when we can gather face to face again. Use online tools to stay connected during quarantine times.
Stay positive online. If you are having a down day, make sure to keep it off social media and bring your best to those you know and meet online
I believe networking in the future will be very different. I see that people will be more intentional with which groups they choose to connect with as we are all more fully aware of the risks associated with groups of people. Hopefully we will all find renewed appreciation of the gift of being able to be with people in the near future.
What are you looking most forward to doing again?