Whether you’re looking for employment or expanding your contacts list for future opportunities, networking during this time could be golden for you. Lockdown doesn’t have to mean that you cease fire with your networking, it can actually help you prepare for meetings following on from this time.
With Social Media being primary to so many of our daily lives and routines, it’s an excellent tool to network both personally and professionally. From Instagram to LinkedIn, you can utilise your platforms to connect with different people and create new relationships. When establishing and building your network, don’t be scared to reach out to people directly and let them know what you’re about. Reaching out to people you follow and have previously connected with, is a great way to introduce yourself as you can use their work and posts as a conversation guide.
Research, Research, Research
As tempting as it is to send out a mass message to potential employers or people you want to get on board in a project of yours, research on your potential network is crucial. By getting an insight into who you’re connecting with you can get a better scope into why they’re the most suitable person and can highlight that once you’ve reached out to them. From creatives and artists to healthcare professionals and finance specialists, find out what they do and take an interest in them, you never know what information you may find and how it may help you later down the line.
Conversation with Intention
Research on your connections is vital, but messaging them with an intention is a great way to keep your conversation focussed. If making connections with the intention of employment, navigate your conversation this way when introducing yourself. Outline, briefly, your professional connections and keep it relevant and purposeful. If reaching out to work with on a project, highlight how their work and involvement aligns with your project or connection. By directing it this way, you cut the waffle and potential contacts will take you seriously.
Don’t take it personally
Although it’s lockdown and many people are working from home, don’t forget that people might be under other stresses and priorities. They might still be working a job or juggling a family life and other personal stresses during this very trying time. Don’t take it personally if they don’t get back to you straight away or even at all, it might just be that they are busy. Think of it this way, you have nothing to lose by reaching out, even if they don’t respond, you will be in no worse off position.
Use your past network
Don’t be afraid to communicate and re-establish connections with people you might have worked with in the past. From old bosses to people you may have started with, you never know how people can help you or what advice they can offer you. You’d be surprised at how many people can put you in contact with other people if you simply ask!
Words By Perisha Kudhail
The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.