Do you know what the number one tip is when it comes to landing a job during COVID? Networking! Unemployment rates have been at an all-time high, making landing your dream job, clients, and partnerships a little more complicated. You must be thinking, “Sure, we already know this, but how do we network when everyone is stuck at home?”
Don’t worry! We have practical tips to help you grow meaningful connections during this social distancing time.
Tip -Prepare Before Virtual Workshops & Network in the Chat
Whether you’re attending a virtual workshop or networking event, it is essential to prepare. It is more challenging to get the most out of virtual events than it is in-person, so it’s crucial to have an end goal in mind. What is it that you want to achieve once the workshop is over? Is it merely knowledge? Is it finding a mentor? Is it finding like-minded people? Once you have the specific end goal in mind, you’ll be able to implement specific strategies to make the most out of the virtual experience.
For example, if it is to connect with like-minded people, make sure to voice your thoughts in the chat, and write down the names of people who respond and agree with your comments. After the event is over, reach out to them to continue the discussion. If you want to get a specific speaker’s attention in the workshop or panel, make sure you ask meaningful questions. Think about the questions you think the person would find interesting. This strategy will make you stand out because they will see that you came in prepared and asked a great question.
Tip - Take Advantage of Social Platforms
While some may think it is unprofessional to reach out via social media platforms, I have had more informational interviews from reaching out via Instagram versus LinkedIn. Now I don’t mean stalking them! If you search tailored hashtags, you’ll find posts of people in the line of work you’re interested in. I have seen a rise in influencers who offer career advice and have been very responsive to strangers’ questions. If you are starting your career or want to pivot, this is a great place to start. You can start making meaningful connections by engaging in their content, and you already have an advantage and insight.
Tip - Reach out for 1:1 Meetings via LinkedIn
While large networking events and career fairs have been at a halt since quarantine started, it has freed up a lot of people’s time, so they are more willing to chat. Setting up one on one meetings with people you admire is feasible if you genuinely show interest in their work. Do your research and discover a commonality before you send the email. You’ll be surprised by how many people respond.
Additionally, if you want to work for a specific company, find employees on LinkedIn who have the title you wish to have one day, and connect! While it may be intimidating to cold email someone, there is really nothing to lose.
Tip -Don’t focus on what they can offer
Have you noticed that people light up when you are interested in their life? Well, while you might be tempted to think about the endless ways people can help you excel in your career, refrain from focusing on what they can offer. Focus on learning about them by asking meaningful questions. This strategy is a win-win situation because it eliminates the anxiety you may have of meeting someone new since they will be talking about themselves most of the time.
Below are some great questions to ask:
What did your career trajectory look like?
What has been the most important learning lesson in your career?
What do you like most about your job, and what do you enjoy the least about it?
Tip 5- You are Amazing TOO!
Sometimes we get so caught up in job titles, status, company name, new ventures/projects, or venture capital raised. When you are around people who seem to have it all together, it can be very intimidating. Reminding yourself that you are a student of life and that everyone has something to offer (including yourself) will put you in a different frame of mind. People love offering advice and helping people-especially through quarantine. Now more than ever, we need to build a community and help each other out. Share this article with your fellow hustlers who will benefit from these tips!