If you’re like me, you are probably tired of hearing about COVID-19 and the damage it’s done on the world from the hundreds of thousands of deaths, overflowing hospitals, battered economies, and beaten down job markets. If you’ve lost your job you’re feeling it financially and emotionally, and if you’re looking over your shoulder at work every day worrying about being the next employee to get the boot, you’re certainly feeling it too. It’s very easy to just climb in bed and pull the covers over your head like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone when he’s hiding from Marv and Harry. (If you’ve seen Casino or GoodFellas or any mafia movie with Joe Pesci you’d probably have been doing the same thing in 1990 too.) But I’m here to say, “Take a breath, things may not be as bad as you think, at least when it comes to Networking.”
You may have people in your ear saying things like “You’ll never be able to network during this pandemic,” or “How can you network at a time like this?!” Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to burst everyone’s bubble but networking hasn’t changed too much from 2019 to 2020. A majority of your networking can be done on this beautiful place called the World Wide Web, or Internet as I’ve heard people refer to it as. Here’s 3 ways you should be networking, and you can do it right after reading this post.
1. Social Media: Seems pretty obvious right? It’s fascinating how many people think Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are just for fun and checking out where your ex-girlfriend went on Friday night. Social media is one of the most valuable tools in your toolbelt believe it or not. I know everyone makes it out to be this big bad thing, but when used the right way it’s powerful. Looking for a position at an accounting firm? Notice your cousin’s best friend got a position at Deloitte when scrolling through facebook? Add that to your list of people to reach out to, or have your cousin reach out to.
2. LinkedIn: I know, I know, technically this should be part of Social Media right. Well I think it’s important to have it’s own separate number and it’s my blog so I make the rules. But seriously LinkedIn is an extremely useful tool when trying to network. It’s important to note that you should have your profile in tip top shape (do people even use tip top as a phrase anymore? Or ever). Once your profile is in order there are a number of ways you can use LinkedIn to your benefit. Join Groups, search for company pages, it’s a great place to be. Keep your eye out for my post on navigating the world of LinkedIn.
3. Company Websites: You may be wondering how in the world this can work. Well, let me tell you. Many company websites, have a little section called “Contact Us” where you can shockingly, contact someone from the company. Now it’s important to note that not all company websites have email addresses to specific people in HR, but some do, and even if it’s not an HR person, it may be someone in Marketing or Engineering, etc. If you do enough research about the company, you can find a way to contact someone. Another important thing to note is you need to have a great email ready to send. Short, concise and to the point.
So see, Coronavirus hasn’t ruined everything…yet. Get that motivation to get out of bed and network on your trusty computer or smart device. I have faith in you.