Maintaining human connection is critical to our well-being. Our professional lives rely on strong relationships too. While this pandemic is scary and disruptive, we can’t use it as an excuse to put our lives or our careers on hold.
The importance of networking is undisputed so we must continue to find ways to rally our relationships while we shelter at home.
Here are six strategies you can use to maintain connection with your existing network and build new relationships all from the safety of your home.
1 Learn to Love Linkedin
What a perfect time to update your profile and build your contact list. Use Linkedin to check in and see how your connections are doing. If you don’t have Linkedin premium, get it. It is well worth the money. You can actually email anyone from any company. Are there dream companies you have been eager to work for or with on a project? Reach out with a thoughtful note and start expanding your network.
2 Lead A Zoom Meeting
Impressively, many companies are doing their best to continue moving business forward virtually. This new virtual meeting era is great for the environment and productivity. If you were planning a meeting or even a conference for a large audience, don’t wait. Kudos are being doled out to people and companies who are showing the show must go on. People are eager for engagement and ways to stay productive. Take the lead. Keep your regular meetings going and plan some big exciting ones too!
3 Visit Over Virtual Happy Hours
This is my favorite. While virtual will never replace the ability to hug and hang out at a bar with friends and business associates, it certainly has its benefits. You don’t have to drive anywhere. No parking trauma or big bar tabs. Plus, you get to pour your drink of choice and keep your glass topped off with no delays. I am for sure going to keep planning virtual happy hours in the future. Go ahead and host one. Your friends will be thrilled. Cheers!
4 Start a Master Mind Group
After a few virtual happy hours, several friends and I decided to use some of our happy hour time to support each other with our dreams. We take turns sharing goals and then we work on creating brand stories, social media content ideas, marketing plans, product sourcing and innovative e commerce strategies. Harness the power of your talented friends and help them too. Master Mind groups are great for business and bonding. Imagine! You and your friends can come out of this ready to launch a whole new business venture.
5 Expand Your Skills and Connections with a Course
There are so many incredible ways to learn online via sites like Coursera. Many classes are being offered for free including Yale’s #1 course, The Science of Well Being. Select any topic you are interested in learning more about. This is a great way to expand your mind and your network by gathering with like-minded people.
6 Enjoy an Old School Phone Chat
When was the last time you took time to catch up on the phone with your best friend from college, a colleague you used to go to lunch with every day or a boss who changed the course of your career? In these techy times when we default to texts and emails for efficiency, we suddenly have time to actually talk. How awesome is that? Good old -fashioned conversations with no real agenda required.
The Bottom Line
Covid-19 and this global pandemic represent a once unthinkable and terrible time in our history. However, please don’t waste the incredible opportunities that this slow-down is affording you. Use the time to reflect, reset your priorities and connect with people. Networking like a pro will be good for your mind, heart and soul as well as your career.
Be sure when you look back, you will be proud to tell the stories of how you spent the Spring of 2020.
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