Ready for a glimmer of good news amid the general gloom? How about this: Even if you’re one of those outgoing types who’s used to growing your professional network face-to-face, at the kinds of events and gatherings now called off for the duration, you can still maintain your connections—and cultivate new ones—at a safe distance.
“Networking remotely isn’t difficult at all,” notes Rosina Racioppi, CEO of Women Unlimited, whose leadership-development training and consulting is focused on advancing women at companies like American Express, Google, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft. Adds Racioppi, who wrote a forthcoming book about networking called Relationships Matter, “The only obstacle to building a great network virtually is that so many people working at home, especially for the first time, forget to do it.”
That’s understandable, considering the barrage of pressures and distractions we’re enduring now, but strengthening professional ties and seeking out new ones could pay dividends after the pandemic has receded into history. In the meantime, here are four ways you can keep networking.
1. Contact clients you haven’t heard from in a while
Karen Wickre, former editorial director at Twitter and author of Taking the Work Out of Networking: Your Guide to Making Connections That Count, suggests taking a few minutes a day to contact clients you haven’t recently kept in touch with. “Ask how they’re faring, and let them know you’d like to help, if you can,” she says. “It’s not a sales call, it’s a goodwill call. They will remember it later.”
Likewise, Wickre says, take a brief daily break from work to send short notes to former colleagues and other contacts “to say you’re thinking about them and ask how they’re doing. If you know their personal tastes, send along…continue reading article