Remote working has grown substantially in recent years, with the integration of freelance contractors and virtual assistants, and software like AI for sales to improve organizational processes. According to the freelance platform, Upwork’s December 2020 Future Workforce Pulse Report, 41% of teams are completely remote, and 15.8% are currently partially remote.
For job seekers, this shift to remote work shapes what your professional relationships look like and how you form new networks that can enhance your employment opportunities. This means job seekers in 2021 need to reimagine how they expand their professional connections to meet the demands of a new, remote employment world.
7 Ways To Build Professional Relationships With Remote Networking
Participate in Online Events
With the limitations of face-to-face meet-ups amidst COVID-19, many events moved to use video conferencing infrastructure. With different events for a variety of topics and purposes, there are events specifically for networking. Sign up and attend as many relevant online events as you can- relevant being the keyword here because you want to interact with individuals with industry insights that can further you professionally.
During the event, contribute, engage actively with other participants, and ask questions. This can extend to post-event communication via multi channel call center. Send feedback to the event organisers or ask additional questions. If you feel there is potential for collaboration, don’t be afraid to offer your services or show interest in working with them. Employment and professional opportunities can come from the most surprising avenues.
Host Your Own Virtual Events
You can also host your own virtual events. Perhaps, you have a valuable skill you can teach others. This doesn’t have to be something related to your work. Hosting personal events allows you to meet new people with similar interests to you. You can also develop these skill-sharing lessons into monetized virtual events, establishing your own income source.
Engage On Social Media
Social media might feel like the least professional place to meet people but rather don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Not only can you make new friends, but many social media platforms have transformed into spaces for professional activity and eCommerce marketing. You can meet like-minded professionals and engage organizations and potential employers.
Instagram is a hub for businesses, digital collaborations, and advertising. Facebook pages and groups are fantastic places to join industry communities with people that work in the same field as you. And, of course, LinkedIn is a platform specifically for business and professional networking!
Join Online Communities
The purpose of creating networks is to become part of a community. In the context of seeking employment, that community grows the opportunities you have access to.
Checkout discussion and community platforms like Lunchclub, Reddit and LinkedIn, and group communication platforms that are better than Slack, where you can engage with individuals in the same or similar industries.
Take Advantage Of Your Existing Networks
Speaking of LinkedIn… After setting up a LinkedIn account, and checking only when they have a job notification, many people tend to neglect their LinkedIn pages. This is a huge ‘no, no’ if you’re trying to nurture professional dynamics and expand your remote network.
Instead, you want to take advantage of your LinkedIn and other alumni networks. Post relevant updates, share articles and industry information and engage with your connections’ posts.
You can also reach out to LinkedIn connections through a formal email or a private message. Ask for referrals or assistance in your job search. It’s very unlikely your previous acquaintances or colleagues will say no to helping you out!
Learn New Skills Online
Learning a new digital skill online has three major benefits. First, you can put it on your resume, indicating a dedication to your self-improvement, self-awareness of your strengths and areas of improvement, and curiosity and openness to learning. This presents you as a resourceful and coachable employee.
The second is that digital skills boost your hire-ability. With relevant skills, you’re better positioned for more professional opportunities in a remote working environment.
The last is more directly linked to networking. Digital courses often have open discussions, chatrooms and file-sharing services where you can interact with other students, share information, and potentially add new people to your network.
Sign up! Subscribe! Join! Register! Anything with relevance to your field is something you should try and get involved in. Casting your net wide and all that…
New World Networking Is Here!
Building professional relationships is a little bit trickier with remote working. Usually, you can bond over a drink after a long conference or develop budding professional relationships over a cup of coffee. With the ongoing pandemic, many chances to expand your network have been eliminated.
Job seekers and all other professionals have had to revise how they build professional relationships with remote networking. And with the seven suggestions above that adjustment can be just a little bit easier.