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Pandemic and Job/Career Disruption Emphasizes the Need to Focus on Honing Your Networking Skills

By: Kaplan Mobray | Apr 16, 2021

The pandemic has created disruption in how we manage our careers, our job performance and grow our businesses.

Many professionals have been furloughed, experienced a job loss, or are contemplating how to advance their career in this current environment.

The rise of virtual working, and a more distributed and a disconnected workforce reemphasizes the need to focus on networking to advance your career.

Four Key Areas to Focus on To Boost Your Networking Skills

  1. Engagement – both in virtual settings and with social media (LinkedIn, etc.) and live interactions. Increase your engagement; become more active in virtual meetings by contributing to the chat, being vocal, and supporting and recognizing colleagues on virtual calls. Engage in posting relevant content or commenting on colleagues’ posts on LinkedIn.  The more engaged you are, the more aware others become of you as a resource.
  2. Communication Frequency – In this environment, it is important to over communicate. Be a resource, offer support, share information. Communication creates connection and connection creates opportunity.
  3. Improve the Quality of Your Relationships – Improving relationships with colleagues, clients, Industry Associations, and contacts in your network is essential. Taking time to ask more questions on how you can help, what you can do to support your team, how you can help an organization solve problems, and generally staying connected to industry trends will keep you top of mind and in the know. Connecting people to the resources they need to improve their careers and grow their businesses is also an excellent way to build and improve your professional relationships as you expand your network.
  4. Contribution – Find ways to help and share your expertise.  Let others know where and how you have helped clients or organizations solve specific challenges and why your skills are relevant to helping organizations today. Leverage your technical expertise by volunteering to speak on panels, share content on podcasts, or volunteer to write or share articles on social media that highlight your industry knowledge.     

Understand Your Value

You will become more effective at networking when you understand and communicate your value and help others connect your value to relevant opportunities that need your skills.

When people meet you, you are often placed into a context.  You are seen as someone who can:

  • Improve the Business
  • Create New Opportunities
  • Grow Results
  • Shape the Future

Take time to consider how you are perceived by others in your network.

It’s important to know your value so you can communicate it effectively in networking opportunities.  Ask yourself what do I bring to the table? What can I help an organization or industry improve in their business?

Leverage Social Media Tools

LinkedIn – There is a difference between managing your contacts and building a network.

Leverage tools like LinkedIn to expand your network – engage in making connections, liking posts, sharing information and relevant articles, and commenting on posts to establish connection and show support.

The Importance of Follow Up

Follow up is key to building and growing your network.

Each week make a point to go through your network and be intentional to check-in on your colleagues and follow up on connections or people who have reached out to you for advice.

Consider these questions as you navigate your network:

  • What Can I Do?
  • Who Can I Help?
  • How Can I Support?

Your Elevator Speech

If you are pursuing a new role or are in transition – how you talk about yourself will convey confidence to your network.

  • Who you are
  • What You Do
  • What Can You Improve in the Organization
  • Why Should Someone Hire You?
  • How Will They Know You are a Good Choice?

Be Confident, Credible, Convincing, Relatable, and Memorable.

Networking is a continuous process – you get better as you increase your engagement and activity.

Spend an hour or more a week exclusively on reaching out to contacts, attending virtual or in-person networking opportunities, connecting with people on LinkedIn and making connections for others in your network to help them advance their career and grow their business.

As you boost your engagement you will expand your network and build a great brand to elevate your career.

Kaplan Mobray

Award-Winning Author | Motivational Speaker | Career Consultant

kaplan@kaplanmobray.com

Cell: 347-528-6792

I help leaders achieve high performance to accelerate business and career growth.

 

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Kaplan Mobray

 
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