Over the past few months, much of our professional world has moved to online. And while this may seem temporary, we have a feeling that many companies and groups will look to continue hosting virtual events to reduce risks and costs. With that being said, we need to get comfortable with the concept of virtual networking. Whether your goal is to find a new position, connect with people of influence, or even just create a mastermind group for support, here are a few things you can do to start building a community online.
Find Your Platform
There are a ton of different professional groups out there, and they all serve different needs. Consider your ultimate goal. Are you looking to advance your career or add new skills to your toolbelt? Try joining a virtual conference in your industry. If you’re looking to build a community of like-minded professionals, head over to Facebook groups! Once considered only for oversharing about your personal life, Facebook has become a platform that can really bring people together.
Get Used To Being Uncomfortable
Yep, we said it. This could get uncomfortable. You may have an awkward “pick your brain” session over Zoom with someone you don’t know! But the simple act of putting yourself out there could significantly advance your career. Sending cold messages to people in your field that you admire is intimidating. But just imagine the knowledge you can gain and the connections you can build by pushing the limits of your comfort zone.
Think Outside The Box
One of the best things about networking virtually is that the sky is the limit. Don’t ground yourself by networking strictly within your local area or even solely in your industry. Research global networking events to expand your reach. Look into groups that cover areas you’re interested in (even if you have no experience!) Most of the time; people will be happy to share beginner tips, answer questions, and expose you to a whole new industry or skillset.
Just because we are social-distancing, doesn’t mean we can’t be connected. Once you’ve honed your networking skills, check out the rest of our candidate resources.