Networking is the New Normal

As we all navigate the changing times of networking and trying to continue growing our careers through the pandemic, many are asking what networking should look like, both now and in the future.

It’s a difficult question to answer, but Dr. Marissa Weaver stepped up to the challenge and sat down with The Network to talk about what networking in the new normal might look like – and to our surprise, it’s not all that different from what we already do.

Here were the top takeaways from the event:

  • We started by rating ourselves on how we’ve done at networking in the past six months; from “varsity” level to just watching Netflix, attendees were all over the board – and that’s OK!
  • We also had group discussions about why networking matters, how it benefits us and what we’ll need in the future.
  • These two items helped us determine where we are, so we know where to go from here.

Dr. Weaver shared several ideas for how to continue networking right now:

  • Remember who got you here and reach out to those connections. It could be a previous employer, someone who wrote you a recommendation, a teacher, role model, etc.; now is a great time to reconnect with them and let them know what you’ve been up to and ask the same of them.
  • Pick up the phone. Many of us are tired of Zoom, so don’t forget you can still pick up the phone and network with people that way.
  • Utilize LinkedIn. It’s a great tool to utilize at all times, but especially now. Use this time to update your profile, make new connections, share resources and interact with current connections through commenting on their posts.
  • Share grace and be open. We are all handling the pandemic in different ways, and that is OK. Some are thriving, but some are more stressed than they have ever been.
  • Think of unique ways to meet up with people.
    • Springfield has great access to the outdoors, so give people options when you need to meet. Would you like to meet outside somewhere or over the phone?
    • Some people are craving face-to-face interaction, so try suggesting a park, trail, coffee shop our outdoor patio.

At the conclusion, Dr. Weaver encouraged us to share our action step in the chat. Several people want to make more connections on LinkedIn. We also heard from our fellow YPs on how they have stayed connected. Even though we are different and sometimes have hard times, we have to continue networking and staying connected, and this event was a great reminder of just that.

Watch the full recording of the event below: