Real Life Virtual Networking Advice

It’s now been more than a year since the first case of COVID-19 appeared in the United States. As the pandemic drags on, most everyone has had to make major changes in how they work and live. Many now work remotely to avoid close contact with others and prevent the spread of the virus.

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The job search has moved online as well for those who are looking for employment. Interviews are now virtual. One important aspect of the job search is networking, and that is now largely done remotely, as well. But networking in a digital environment is not quite the same as doing it face to face.

Here are some ideas on how to network virtually.

Where to network virtually.

Some career experts advise those looking for employment to devote most of their time to networking. Job candidates need to look for events online. When you fine one to participate in, introduce yourself in the chat area, let people know what kind of job you are interested in and in what area, and share your LinkedIn address.

Another way of networking virtually is to take a class online, one that relates to your career ambitions, and then network with the people and instructor in the class. Host an online coffee break, organize regular meetings with a few other people in the class, and follow the instructor on social media.

There are also many different conferences, podcasts and workshops available online in which you can take part. Some will offer breakout sessions with smaller groups where you can make contacts with other members. On your profile for the event, be sure to use your full name and include your LinkedIn address.

Who to network with.

One place to start is with former colleagues, even if you have not been in touch with them for a while. Acknowledge the lack of contact and express the desire to reconnect. However, initially, your focus should be on them – how they are doing, how their career is going.

You will not make a very good impression if you call the person out of the blue and ask if they can help you with your job search. You need to show good faith by offering ways to help them as well.

Another way to make connections is through LinkedIn. Look for people who publish frequently on this social media platform. They are likely to be willing to correspond with you, to talk to you about their interests and profession. After all, the reason they are writing is to increase their visibility and reputation.

You can find these people by simply doing a Google search for top influencers on LinkedIn. Before you reach out to the person, however, you need to do a little preparation. Read through their past blogs and other writings. Learn about their background and interests. Then follow them. All of this will lay the groundwork for the day when you do contact the person, raising the odds that you will be more successful.

Other people to consider are employees at companies where you would like to work and people who work in the profession or industry where you work or where you plan to work.

Another group of people to correspond with virtually are recruiters. They often know about positions that have not been advertised. They have developed relationships with people in various industries and will be able to give you insight into the jobs in which you’re interested, as well as the work environments at different companies.

If you reach out and don’t receive any response, don’t give up immediately. Try establishing contact two or three times before moving on.

Staying organized.

When networking virtually, it is important to keep good records. Using a spreadsheet can be a big help. On it, you can record all of the people you have contacted, or plan to contact, along with background information on each person. You should also note when you contacted each person and what form of communication was used (email, text, phone, etc.).

Your notes should also include information about what was discussed and any other details you consider relevant.

Whether you’re looking for short-term work or full-time employment, make sure you take a look at Helpmates’ current job and career opportunities. If you find one or more that sing to you, follow directions on the posting or contact the branch nearest you.

Getting Work Done When Your Mojo is Missing

It happens to everyone: there are just some days when it feels like a slog just to get the bare minimum done at work, let alone exceed expectations. And we’re not talking about feeling ill. We’re talking about when you have the blahs, when you’re kind of burned out, when you’re just not feeling it.

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How can you get motivated when you’re languishing in the doldrums like this? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Consider what is ahead.

Thinking about the future is always something that raises spirits. The future is always filled with promise and possibility. Think about the things you are going to do, the things you want to accomplish. Set some goals and plan how you are going to achieve those goals. This is always a good motivator.

  1. Read something motivational.

For example, you can read about a person who overcame adversity to achieve his or her goals and how the person did it. You can peruse a self-help book with ideas on how to get moving and accomplish your goals. Even reading aphorisms can be motivational. None other than Winston Churchill recommended them.

  1. Find a mentor.

A mentor is someone with a lot of experience who can help you with your own problems and career. A mentor can give you advice and encouragement on achieving your goals and overcoming your obstacles because odds are he or she faced the same thing at one time or another.

  1. Act as if.

Acting as if” means behaving as if you already had the quality or attitude you are trying to acquire. The strategy was first proposed by the philosopher and psychologist William James, the founder of a school of thought known as pragmatism.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference,” he said, adding, “It does.” Acting as if takes confidence. You have to believe in yourself, to believe you have what it takes to get the job done. If you believe in yourself, odds are you also have control over your thoughts, feelings and actions, which also means you are able to give more effort and are more persistent.

So, act as if you are motivated, and real motivation is likely to follow.

  1. Get some exercise.

This is a great way to re-energize. Exercise gets your blood pumping and gets more oxygen to your brain. It helps to enhance your mood and to think more clearly. There is no better way to get yourself out of the blahs. So take a walk or hit the gym.

  1. Meditate

You may not believe it can help, but the evidence shows it does. Many CEOs and military people meditate regularly. Like exercise it can help to reduce stress, improve your mood, and help you focus better.

  1. Get organized.

Organize your work space. Put things where they belong and clean off your desk. You will be surprised how this also will make you feel more energized. Studies have shown that people who have organized work spaces are more productive than those with messy desks.

  1. Focus on small victories.

In other words, think about not just your goals and whether you are achieving them, but whether you are making progress toward your goals. Just moving forward, making progress, is reason enough to celebrate and to give you motivation.

When you are working, don’t worry about the past or the future, but focus on the now, the present moment and determine to make the most of that moment, because everything else flows from that.

If one of your goals is finding a new position, take a look at Helpmates’ current opportunities. See one or more that look interesting? Follow application directions or contact the branch location nearest you.

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