Back to School: Get Ready to Up Your Networking Game

Back to School: Get Ready to Up Your Networking Game

It’s 2020. Everything’s canceled. The Olympics. Concerts. Big10. But even while we’re socially distancing, networking is still very much a thing.

As an introvert, I really can’t decide if everything being remote is easier, harder, or the same (though I am looking forward to handshakes being a thing of the past), but technology is here to make sure we can keep up with each other. Expanding our circles, however, is definitely a little trickier.

No more meeting new parents in your kids’ class or on their sports teams. No more happy hour with your work friends (and theirs). No more of so many things.

BUT, with some effort and creativity, we can get around and through this.

Since you’ll be missing out on sports this fall, go ahead and schedule some networking in as your Friday night entertainment. No, really.

Grab your laptop and a drink and do a Zoom round table on some professional topics and have your colleagues invite other guests. Give it some structure so it isn’t just a free for all and you can really start conversations with people you didn’t already know. Be sure to exchange contact information so you can continue the conversations after the round table!

Get involved in relevant conversations on LinkedIn. Use that social network to…you know…get social and network. Focusing on thoughtful responses and building relationships.

Whatever you do, try not to engage hermit mode during this time. Connecting with others will help prevent depression during isolation all while hopefully propelling your professional life forward!