How to Build a Lasting Network — Even in a Remote World

Before the pandemic, what were some of your go-to ways for making connections with people? How have you adapted your techniques to these times?

Trisha: Before the pandemic, I spent a lot of time attending events in person and organically meeting new people (in line to get in, sitting by someone new during a presentation, getting introductions from friends I already knew). I also spent time getting involved in organizations I cared about. Volunteering tends to connect you to other like-minded people, who are often willing to help.

What was it like to find a new job in this period and what out-of-the-box methods did you employ to make connections?

Trisha: Finding a new job during the pandemic was a roller coaster of an experience. I am lucky to have a very wide and helpful network, who were more than willing to offer calls, connections, introductions, advice, and words of encouragement. I did not apply for jobs but rather spent time on LinkedIn daily, sending messages to my connections list letting them know I was looking for a new opportunity and to keep me in mind if they heard of anything.

Does your networking technique differ depending on whom you’re trying to reach?

Trisha: Yes — each message was tailored to my relationship with them and how well they knew my background. I also changed the tone depending on whether they would be a decision-maker for a role I might be interested in or if I was looking for them to refer me to someone or a company.

What do you think networking will look like in the coming months? In a year?

Alida: I used to be the kind of person who would circulate in a room and might be called a “social butterfly,” but as COVID has worn on, I find that’s just not what I like to do anymore. What I am noticing is that I am not alone.

What is your top tip for an established professional looking to make connections more effectively?

Trisha: I treated job searching like a job. I got up every morning, showered, dressed for the day, had my coffee, and started networking. I spent eight hours, four days per week (giving myself Fridays off!) working on my job search. I left no stone unturned and had a call with anyone who would talk to me.

And how about for new job entrants into the workforce?

Trisha: Never burn a bridge — the connections you make today will be the network you need later.

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