When the pandemic hit and everything went virtual, our social lives changed dramatically. This included our social interactions related to work and career development as well.
Meeting new people and networking is a vital part of growing your career. However, just because everything in person has been cancelled, doesn’t mean you can’t keep successfully networking with people in your field. It just needs to happen virtually. Keep reading for five do’s and don’ts of virtual networking.
#1: Do – Reach Out To People On LinkedIn
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your connections, or make new ones, on LinkedIn. These people can be extremely important resources and can offer great advice. Reaching out allows you to grow your network and meet new people in a virtual environment. When the world opens back up again, you will have already introduced yourself and can seamlessly ask to meet up for coffee in person.
Here’s an article from The Muse that teaches you how to write messages on LinkedIn that will actually get read.
#2: Don’t – Be Afraid To Ask Your Network For Advice
People are generally understanding right now and are willing to help wherever they can. It can be intimidating to reach out to someone and ask them for career advice or for insight regarding a certain job. However, it’s likely that most of your connections will be more than happy to help you. You never know, reaching out to someone could be the start of a brand new opportunity.
#3: Do – Be On The Lookout For Virtual Networking Events
There has never been a better time to meet people in your career field from all over the world than right now. The virtual networking space has provided so many new opportunities to chat with thought leaders you might never have crossed paths with before. So many companies and individuals are creating their own virtual networking events, and most of the time they’re open to anyone to attend.
EventBrite has a great page that is constantly updated with new virtual networking events.
#4: Don’t – Be Closed Off To New Opportunities
It might be nerve wracking to hop on a Zoom event with a bunch of people you’ve never met. However, when you think about it, it’s actually a lot less stressful than going to meet these people in person.
So, sign up for networking events, be willing to talk to new connections and volunteer to jump on a call with someone you’ve never met before – you never know how it might help you!
#5: Do – Make Sure To Follow-Up After Virtual Networking Events
There’s a chance you could meet someone who’s inspiring and an exceptional asset to have, so don’t forget to grab their contact information before the networking event ends. The last thing you want is to make this valuable connection and not have a way to reach them afterwards.
Make sure to send a quick follow-up email after the event and let them know you enjoyed the conversation you had. This is the best way to keep this person in your corner for years to come.
So, Have you signed up for your next virtual networking event yet? What’s stopping you?
Want to learn more professional tips and networking advice to help you grow your career? Visit the Josephine’s Professional Staffing blog for a variety of posts on the topic.