etworking in the age of Covid-19 is going to take some adapting to for us all. Moving from an in-person mode of networking to a totally virtual setup will be a culture shock, especially for those of us who perhaps weren’t as familiar with all the new tech that is being used now to host webinars and meetings. Everything from expert-led webinars to showcase the newest methods in combating Covid-19 to networking sessions for old colleagues are being held remotely, and people really are just having to adapt or be left behind.
One of the main boons online networking provides is the sharing of knowledge. Every industry is making the most of the lockdown to dedicate time to sharing all kinds of information, and we are loving it. Networking with experts within your own industry can be such a learning experience for anyone at any level in their career. There is always more to learn, and every room is a classroom, even virtual ones.
Networking externally can also be a fantastic new opportunity for people who feel they have learnt all they can from within an organisation, or someone who needs knowledge that isn’t ordinarily found within a business. For these professionals, external networking is really the only possible solution in their quest to boost their knowledge.
For these professionals, it can be difficult to make that first step in external networking, but we can absolutely guarantee that once that foot is in the door, the good times just do not stop. The wealth of knowledge that exists if one just dares to look outside is staggering.
Thankfully, this is now becoming much more common, with remote working seemingly removing that mental barrier to external networking. We have seen so many profound exchanges between professionals in similar positions at different businesses, something as simple as an idea for best practice being discussed in a networking session can have an impact on a business. Additionally, being able to share experiences and benchmarks can be so important in an individual’s personal and professional development, rather than acting on behalf of a business.
Another fantastic use of external networking during these difficult times is just as a way to off load. Some things can’t be offloaded onto family, nor colleagues, nor anyone else, and there are some things that anyone not in your profession just wouldn’t understand. Professionals are making good use of technology to get in touch with other experts…just to offload. We can’t blame them at all! These are unprecedented times, as we have all heard so often. With all the new pressures being put on people, both personal and professional, it’s only understandable that professionals look to share their stories with similar people.
Maintaining a strong disposition and ensuring one’s mental health is secure is vital, and online networking amongst people who just ‘get it’ has really helped through the pandemic. Office gossip and those sacred water-cooler catchups have been replaced by a zoom call to talk about issues and let off much-needed steam.
Sometimes all that is needed is just that little bit of confidence to push oneself through the door and into the opportunity.While coronavirus may have closed plenty of literal doors, it has indeed opened quite a few figurative ones. Sharing and gaining knowledge can be a victory on so many levels. It can make a business more profitable through better practice, it can develop a professional’s understanding of a topic, it can just be a place to share some problems, and maybe find some solutions.
In these times when talking to others can only be done through a screen, we hope that everyone is able to keep in touch with their loved ones and their colleagues, and in ways that promote positivity, peace and sanity. This may be a difficult time for us all, but there is always a silver lining.