There are very few regular activities that continued as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and social activities were even more scarce. In the business world, a somewhat-required social activity is networking, especially for small businesses and individuals looking for new employment.
Luckily, just as many jobs have went digital amidst the stay-at-home orders and other shifts in employment, so, too have networking circles. Here are some networking tips and resources for “The New Normal.”
Social media certainly has it’s fair share of downfalls, but with many emerging features to help bring the quarantined masses together (like Facebook ‘Messenger Rooms’, unofficially Zoom-inspired), there are still plenty of opportunities to “hang out” with like-minded individuals. To give Facebook a pat on the back after that previous remark, they do a great job of empowering small business, and are even running a major add campaign to do just that. A steady, business-minded presence on all of the social media outlets will, at worst, allow other people to reach out to you, and if utilized correctly, can open a lot of doors.
Do tread wisely, though, as the increases in social media use are also leading to more cyber attacks via social media sites. Be sure to brush up on social media security!
Many large-scale gatherings have been transitioning into the digital realm, such as concerts, comedy shows, and movies, and conferences are no exceptions. As it is a new way to “meet up,” there are some kinks being worked out, but they exist in almost every sector of the business and entertainment industries, to some extent. A quick Google search will point you in the right direction, but be sure to have a professional email, as most “visits” to would-be booths at a normal convention, are information packets that you receive via email.
Don’t Be Shy
Everyone is experiencing the same things right now. People want connections. With that in mind, it’s a better time than ever to shamelessly promote yourself. If you think it would be nice to work somewhere, let them know, and be blunt. Not all companies are quick to hire right now, but with more and more parts of the economy opening up, they are getting ready for economic booms, and being blunt can be a great way to get your name at the top of a list.
Being blunt doesn’t mean being cocky, but the classic Hi, here is my resume in case you’re ever hiring is going to get pushed to a pile with 300 of the same exact messages. Being honest, and saying something like COVID has made me realize that I need to dedicate my life to work, and I would love to do it with your company as soon as the times allow will certainly get you noticed!
Don’t Give Up
As confident as you should be in the future looking much brighter than it is now, it’s also realistic to take a deep breath and admit that this is a difficult, difficult time to find work. Letting yourself get frustrated does no good for anyone, and though there are certainly good reasons to consider a career change, now is certainly not the time to feel like you have to do that. Even though the word is “a bit” overused, the times are, indeed, unprecedented, and so is the economic climate. If there were ever a time to give yourself a break for hitting a rough patch, that time is now.
Use these tips, and your intuition when calculating the landscape changes in your given field, and you may just find yourself in a better position post-COVID than you were in pre-COVID.