What comes to mind when you think about networking? Do you picture a cocktail party with various individuals chatting to each other about their businesses with a glass of sparkling beverage in hand? Well, that was a common characteristic of networking pre-global pandemic and now with social events being a rare occasion due to government restrictions, we have now been thrust into fully digitized experiences of networking. In this article, we will be learning about the definition of networking, why it can help your business and how to effectively network in the age of COVID-19.
Let us begin with understanding the meaning of professional networking – “This is the building of relationships with other professionals within your career field and in other related fields for the purpose of mutual benefits. Professional networking is relevant for you at any stage of your career whether you are a student at university, a recent graduate, an experienced entrepreneur or a high-level executive. The value of networking is evident in the form of nurturing and establishing long-term relationships with the people you connect with. This is undoubtedly the most important and sustainable route for growing your business and succeeding in your personal and professional life. This is one of the main reasons why the Ready to Thrive platform has been implemented; there are vast opportunities for connection within this current context with the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy.
Well, here’s the conundrum – if businesses need networking to keep functioning, how can meaningful connections be established during a pandemic? No need to fret because we’ve got you covered! The following tips are a guaranteed recipe for networking success;
- Reach out to old contacts and speak with your peers – By reconnecting with various individuals you have encountered on your life’s journey, there are endless possibilities of reigniting mutually beneficial relationships that will help you thrive in life and in your business. It may be awkward at first but there’s no telling what remarkable outcomes may be brought about.
- Attend virtual meetups and webinars from industry trade organizations – Many high ranking companies and influential organizations have replaced physical annual meetups with virtual events via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, etc. This may be a tricky one if you are one who is prone to Zoom fatigue. However, every virtual meetup such as the ones offered by Future Females Invest (FFI) are occupied by professionals who impart extremely impactful knowledge and contacts that directly contribute to your personal development and exponential growth of your business. The connections exchanged during these webinars are further established via LinkedIn and subsequently email and WhatsApp depending on the amount of engagement made with panelists, moderators and fellow participants. The sky’s the limit with this one!
- Refurbish your online presence – Ensure that you are putting your best foot forward in terms of your presentation online. Do you have a headshot photo on your company’s email account? Do you have a professional signature? Are search results for your name on Google and your LinkedIn page showing your professional achievements in detail? These are the most effective ways to ensure that networking online is successful
Are you interested in learning more about your personal networking style? If you are click here to access this interesting quiz that provides unique insights into your personal networking style.