3 Tips for Growing Your Network While Working from Home
How do you feel about your professional network? Do you know and engage with others who could help you progress in your career? When most people think of networking, they envision going to conferences, meetings, trade shows or happy hour events. Due to recent circumstances involving COVID-19, the number of remote employees has drastically increased, causing more professionals to shift to virtual working options. Even though many people enjoy working from home, it’s common for professionals to feel disconnected from their colleagues and isolated because they don’t have in-person interactions with their network.
Some benefits to having a strong network include being able to seek good advice, find a mentor, discuss current events with colleagues and talk to an advocate to help with job opportunities. Many people are wondering how they can make meaningful connections and grow their network in a time when large group meetings are discouraged. Things are changing rapidly, but there are technologies, platforms and solutions available. Here are three tips to grow your network while working from home!
1. Build up your professional social networks
Social media platforms are very popular with people of all ages and demographics. Many platforms appear to be more personal and some can be used for more professional purposes. Today, it’s common for people to search your name online and scan through the search results. Whatever is out there about you in the public domain can be used for or against you. Take some time to review all of your social media profiles and update or remove information. Proactively engage with others in your social networks. Like, comment and share posts that you think are meaningful. Think about adding connections to your network that you have mutual contacts with.
2. Post thought provoking content / articles
What topics are interesting and/or important to you? Would anyone know that by looking at your online profiles? Do you have a distinct point of view that you share when relevant topics arise? Posting thought provoking content and articles on social media or your personal online blog can be helpful in growing your professional network. With consistency on your part, others in your network will begin to look forward to your content and even share it. At this point, professionals tend to notice that they receive more connection requests since they are more visible online. Sharing ideas and content can be beneficial. However, it’s usually best to stay away from emotionally triggering subjects such as politics.
3. Make connections via phone / video
So far, we’ve discussed aspects of your networking presence online. Utilizing the phone can be just as helpful to increasing the size of your network. After you interact with potential networking partners online, making a connection via phone can assist in solidifying the relationship. You can generally learn more about people in a shorter period of time by having a conversation. Like a phone call, having a video call can assist in developing relationships with your network, but while including a visual component. Shifting to phone/video communication with professionals in your network can help your connection feel more real.
Do you think that you have a strong professional network? Recent global health regulations have forced many people to work from home. With that being the case, on the surface many people might think that it limits your ability to grow your network. Nonetheless, you can still build a solid network by enhancing your social networks, posting thought provoking content and articles and making connections via phone and video. How do you plan to grow your network while working from home?
Porschia Parker-Griffin is a Certified Coach, Professional Resume Writer, and Founder of Fly High Coaching. (https://www.fly-highcoaching.com) She empowers ambitious professionals and motivated executives to add $10K on average to their salaries.