The Era of COVID-19 and Online Networking: 6 Networking Tips to Build Networks during Pandemic

By Hayriye Simay Tunçkılıç

We all have wished 2020 to be one of the most wonderful and prosperous years that we have ever experienced. Some of us wished for money, love, health even new networks, and much more. However, 2020 has turned out to be the most devastating year for all of us, the reason is quite simple.

Introduction

COVID-19 has turned people’s lives upside down regarding networks, and businesses as well. Since March, lots of people have lost their jobs, maybe you are one of them. As you read this article, you probably seek ways to make beneficial networks online for a brand new job that you can reveal your genuine potential. Maybe you think that this is the end of networking and thinking that you have no chance anymore.

I have also asked myself whether it is the end of networking. Despite some changes, “You can still connect with others in a pure, authentic way,” says Jen Zamora, a career coach at Korn Ferry Advance. However, the good news is a new era has started! When you lose your job and stuck at home, consider networking for new opportunities. If you do not know the ways to achieve it, there are 6 efficient ways to reach success!

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BUILD YOUR NETWORK DURING THE TIMES OF COVID?

Before starting, it is better to recall that these are difficult times and lots of people have been trying to tackle their own obstacles. Therefore, sensibility and authenticity are the keys for effective networking. The aim of networking is to make a good and constructive connection for future business opportunities then here come the benefits!

1) Create and Check Your Own Brand:

In these times perception is everything, so considering how people perceive you might be a prudent start. A lot of adjectives can appear when someone’s name is mentioned and those adjectives make up a personal brand of one. I want to say that you have your own brand which can sound both intriguing and intimidating, but do not worry! It is up to you to increase the reputation of your own brand so it’s essential and your responsibility to keep your online profile up to date.

2) Check on your Network:

It’s good to know many people but have you ever considered what is beneficial for you to be who you really want to be in 2 or 3 years? I do not want to upset you, but this is not the time for you to say hello to your manicurist, instead try to build networks that might touch your life and inspire you to achieve your short term aspirations. If you have constructive networks that can actually help you, that is great! If not, then realising who is missing in person and try to get in touch with them. Checking your connections and adding up more beneficial ones might be one of the effective steps for future opportunities.

3) Use Technology, It Is a Blessing:

Technology has become an inevitable part of our lives and it is not as intimidating as it seems, it is indeed a blessing and all you have to do is enjoy new opportunities. You can use any platforms to connect -Zoom, or Skype- you should reveal yourself somehow, and it is crucial for you to be seen. Sometimes things can go wrong when it comes to technology, it is a realm deepening more day by day and we should always remind ourselves that we are humans, not robots. It is important not to blame ourselves when it comes to technological mishaps. Not to forget opening your microphone is a good step, but if you forgot it for a short time, it really does not matter. No one would be mad just because you forgot to open your microphone for 2 minutes, it is time to relax!

4) Create a brand new concept online if you meet someone interesting at a webinar or on social media

Think about your best friend overseas. You would probably keep each other entertained such as playing Uno or gossiping for hours! So you can always create something new for virtual contact. Online coffee meetings would be an appropriate example of online concepts. Coffee meetings are one of the best choices to get to know people that you can take it to your computer. Distance will be there but interaction will not lose its essence. Ask new people to connect and have conversations with them with no expectations. You never know where it might lead, it can bring about new opportunities and networks.

5) Patience is everything

One of our mistakes is being impatient. This situation has increased in parallel with the developments in technology. We want everything to be done literally in seconds, or worse. We are inclined to quit when we do not reach a satisfactory result which should be fast and effective at the same time. Unfortunately, being impatient or being quitter does not lead us any further. Sometimes it is better for us to wait patiently and let yourself be surrounded by the right people that you have been long waiting for.

Some social platforms can really bring lifelong opportunities and networks even if you think they consume your time. If you are on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram do not give up too quickly, wait patiently for your time after you made efforts to surround yourself with potential ones. Your clients and future jobs can be everywhere, be consistent, and do not give up if the result is not satisfactory. Try until you nail it, and remember patience always pays off!

6) Realise Your Value

These are challenging times for all of us, negative thoughts might even surround your mind and your body. Your thoughts have taken you hostage, but I will tell you something that you did not want to admit all these times. You have value and you are NOT worthless! All you need to do is take a breath and seek to find those who want your help. I know that everyone has something to offer to others, and you are one of them. Stay out of comfort-zone, and be confident over your qualities, knowledge and experiences that might actually help people. No magic wand or mother fairy will tell you about your worth, believe that you can offer something beneficial for people and help them. Change is within yourself…well, are you still waiting?

Conclusion

Without a doubt, COVID-19 hit us hard and caused so many people to lose their jobs. In the wake of COVID-19, online networking will operate for quite some time, yet the human aspect will be intact and physical interactions will also be included in our schedules.

There is no reason to push hard on ourselves and the best way is to go with the flow for the time being. Yet, enjoying and benefiting the process should not be forgotten. Human beings love to connect in person, people will be back soon and will appreciate interactions that even more! Hope to see all of you revealing your potentials with new networks!

Inspired by:

“How to network during pandemic” by Rose Costello written for the website “Welcome to the Jungle.”- https://www.welcometothejungle.com/en/articles/networking-during-corona , and

“Networking in the Age of COVID-19” by Jennifer Zamora (author-in-chief) written for the website “Korn Ferry.” – https://www.kornferry.com/insights/articles/job-networking-search-coronavirus