How to effectively network during a quarantine/social distancing
March 13, 2020, 10 a.m.
Networking is the gold standard for discovering opportunities
Networking is the gold standard for discovering opportunities, especially for college students in search of employment.
Professional networking is similar to networking on social media except you're typically establishing connections with people in your field of expertise. These connections could be experts, thought leaders, or even professors. For example, if you studied Game Development and Design at CDI College or, similarly, Graphic Design Technology at Vancouver Career College then you’ll want to connect with design professionals.
But with the world under lockdown due to COVID-19, many obvious networking environments, including conferences and career fairs, have vanished.
Fortunately, due to modern technology, you no longer need to meet in-person in order to develop professional relationships. Here are five ways to practice social distancing and easily maintain and grow your network from the comfort of your own home:
- Make an effort to connect
The most difficult part of networking these days is that all the typical opportunities have disappeared for the time being. So, if you recently graduated from Reeves College and the classroom was your primary source of connecting, you’ll need to be more deliberate with your networking strategy. Be proactive in finding new ways to network daily by sending emails, using social media, signing up for webinars, or joining online group chats.
- Think long-term
Even if you’re not urgently looking for work, what you do today can have a significant impact on the opportunities that come your way in the future. Helping others where possible and building goodwill can only serve you well. If you’re a Medix College graduate or studied CDI College courses in healthcare, this could be your time to shine.
- Join an online discussion forum
Online groups are increasingly popping up to share everything from urgent job openings to industry news. Find a forum that compliments your career goals and join the discussion. If you studied CDI College programs like graphic design check out Design Crowd. If you studied Vancouver Career College Programs like early childhood education, follow the YMCA’s Facebook page. This is a great way to expand your network and gain exposure to different opportunities.
- Reach out to classmates
Don’t forget about the people you’ve lost touch with over the months or years. Go ahead and reach out to your old classmates from Reeves College courses in social media. Re-establishing a connection can be easier than creating a new one from scratch. Send a note to your medical lab partner from your Medix College courses and ask how they’ve been or remind your old study buddy from Vancouver Career College courses to stay safe.
- Develop your online presence
If you haven't already, create your LinkedIn profile and, as long as your profiles are cleaned up, you can also leverage social media in your networking strategy. For example, a new grad from Medix College programs will want to curate an online presence that speaks to the healthcare industry while graduates from Reeves College programs like graphic design technology will want to be more creative with their personal brand. Some colleges have an alumni group on Facebook, where students can find job openings. Depending on your industry, you might also want to learn website design and start an online portfolio.
Now go ahead and get online. The sooner you start networking, the greater your chances are of connecting with someone who'll help you find a job down the road.
What does it mean to network yourself?
Networking is about making connections and building professional relationships that might eventually lead to a job. Join some groups and get out to networking events when possible.
Why is it important to network?
Networking will help you stay on top of the latest trends unfolding your industry and gain access to support that will further your career development. Networking also provides you with an opportunity to meet potential mentors, business partners, and new clients.
Who should I network with?
Network with anyone and everyone. Past employers, friends of colleagues, friends of friends, in-laws, the guy in line at the grocery store – just about anyone you meet can form your network.
Should I go to a networking event?
By going to networking events you’ll meet people who can help your career. It’s best if you can attend networking events, or join groups, related to your profession.