The last year has seen a surge in remote working, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has presented both employees and employers with myriad benefits, but has also posed many challenges. Employees have often found themselves missing the companionship and motivation of the office environment, and in particular have worried about the lack of networking opportunities that the isolation of remote working appears to present. But with a little thought, remote working can actually open new possibilities in the networking arena. With skillful use of the online world, networking can be adapted to the remote working arena. At CareerWise, we are experts in helping you get the most out of your career. Here is our guide to networking from home.
Pre-covid, many people were unfamiliar with platforms such as Zoom. But with social distancing restrictions remaining in place, life has moved online. There is now an online event for every occasion, from birthday parties to networking. Seek out like minded professionals by attending webinars in your field, and make sure you are active in the chat window. Ask informed questions and interact with your fellow attendees – you never know what useful connections you will be able to make.
Use Social Media
Facebook is no longer just about chasing up friends from school. Employers increasingly use the platform to check out potential employees; while Facebook groups mean there is nearly always a professional forum for you to find those working in a similar field and make connections. Search for groups relevant to your area of expertise and get involved. Respond to the questions of others, and try and be helpful. A genuine presence that demonstrates you are engaged and enthusiastic can create valuable links for the future.
Instagram and LinkedIn
Facebook is by no means the only important social media. Instagram is a great place to present your professional brand and create connections – it is now common to form friendships and valuable working relationships through the platform. What is more, Instagram Live is increasingly being used as a webinar apce, where experts give talks and answer questions. Get engaged with these – see who else is watching the live stream, comment, and even follow up with an email after the talk has finished.
LinkedIn has always been a great place for networking, so curate your profile carefully and seek out those you would like to connect with. A well placed polite message might just catch the right person’s attention.
Virtual Job Fairs
Since we now live in an era of virtual jobs and virtual recruitment processes, the virtual job fair may well be the job fair of the future. So embrace them. Since distance is no object, they open up a far greater range of opportunities, and provide a chance to network with a much greater number of people. Watch presentations from a broad range of employers to get a feel for company culture and practices. Then follow up with a friendly email to the presenter, introducing yourself and thanking them for their presentation. You never know what connections you might make.
Reach Out To Offer Help
Often, a good working relationship begins with an act of generosity. While you interact on your professional Facebook groups or in Zoom break out rooms, watch out for opportunities to be helpful. A friendly approach, sharing resources or recommending contacts, will be remembered. But do be genuine – don’t appear to be offering help in the expectation of return. Instead, be open and friendly, and forge relationships based on mutual respect. They are investments for the future.
Use Your Existing Network
When attempting to maintain a good work life balance, it is easy to forget what connections you may already have amongst your family and friends. Take a moment to reflect on the careers of those close to you, and don’t be afraid to ask them for help. You never know who a friend might be able to connect you with unless you ask. The networks of friends and family might just provide you with the connections you’ve been looking for.
CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment firm, based in Cork, Shannon, Galway, Mayo and Dublin – bringing together employers with the perfect employees. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you. Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0)21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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CareerWise Recruitment. EastGate Village, EastGate, Little Island, Cork.
Phone: +353 (0) 21 206 1900