We currently are living in strange and different times. Businesses, cities, and countries are shut down. People are isolated. There is no traffic and the air seems cleaner. And people are exercising outdoors more than usual.
Despite businesses being closed, or their employees working remotely, the time to network is now. Networking is about connecting. Connecting takes many forms in addition to attending events or meeting for coffee. With in-person networking off of the table for now, other ways to connect should be your focus.
Many people have more time on their hands, which can be used to connect by phone, email, or text, as well as LinkedIn and other social media sites or apps. The manner of connection depends on who you are connecting with and the level of that relationship. The actions you take to network anytime shouldn’t be random, and this includes during the pandemic.
You need to look through your contacts and decide who you want to network with and in what manner. In the past few weeks I have networked by phone, email, text, FaceTime, Zoom, and social media. Some of the contact was initiated by me, and some by others – I’m not the only one trying to network despite the pandemic. People realize that we will get to a point where things generally go back to normal in that the orders to stay at home will be lifted and most businesses (hopefully) will re-open.
If you don’t network while all of this is going on, it will be like lost time you can’t recapture. All of us can speak to negative effects the pandemic is having on our business and professional lives. If you do nothing, when the world gets going again, you will be starting from behind.