In light of the pandemic, have you wondered how to network and grow professionally while you’re stuck at home? Well, you’re definitely not alone, so let’s talk about it.
Networking is an essential part of finding a job. A collaborative survey conducted (pre-pandemic) by consultant Lou Adler and LinkedIn, found that 85% of jobs are filled by networking of some sort. This ‘hidden job market’ is based on individuals vouching for one another. While working from home try to focus on growing professionally by building relationships with like-minded individuals to get your reputation online noticed.
“The best way you can get noticed and get your foot in the door is through someone at that company advocating for you, putting your resume at the top of the pile, and you do that through networking,” said Eleview Consulting’s Elise Gelwicks for #Gethired.
Job Seeking is a fiercely competitive environment – add a pandemic and it’s brutal. Gone are the days of large conferences and indoor gatherings – an ideal environment for networking. However, now connections must be formed virtually, doesn’t mean they can’t be as effective as in-person socialising.
Start with people you know – friends, family, former colleagues, university lecturers and classmates. This will build your confidence and create stepping stones to further connections.
Be proactive, if you want to meet someone, introduce yourself. Social networking is about persistence and self assurance. It is important to follow up and not allow for connections to fizzle. Take advantage of the times and don’t be afraid to ask how someone is doing in the middle of all this. By mimicking basic human interactions into business settings, connections can form easier when the initial interaction is less formal.
As a panel of Forbes Councils Members stated, “provide context of networks. Let the other person understand your agenda and desire to build on this connection.
Invest in learning. With limited career opportunities, create a career experience for yourself. For example, work on your resume, create content for your portfolio or complete a PXT Select assessment report. These proactive steps will not only be impressive to future employers, demonstrating how you utilised your spare time during COVID-19, but will also be a great talking point for interviews and can stand you apart from competition.
Working from home shouldn’t hinder professional growth. It can be challenging to feel connected to your teammates and focus on your career development. Advocate yourself. Get your work and accomplishments recognised. Arrange team catch ups and formal meetings to share goals and demonstrate how you are hitting your targets.
Businesses are struggling to hit targets due to limited resources. Provide value to your business or a helping hand to others you see struggling. Your ability to go above and beyond in trying times won’t go unnoticed and will potentially create career opportunities in the future.