With the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 virus, many young adults are scrambling to find connections and expand their professional network from home.
From organized conferences to everyday interactions being cancelled, this pandemic has made it more difficult for people to connect with professionals in their intended fields.
As a young adult, one of the best things that you can do for your career is to network. You’ve likely heard the phrase, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” For many industries, this saying is very true. Networking can help you land your dream job.
Below are some ways you can network without leaving your house.
1. The Internet is your best friend.
In 2020, the possibilities are limitless for how to use the internet to your advantage. From LinkedIn to Twitter and Instagram, social media provides many ways to network with people without needing to have a face-to-face conversation.
LinkedIn is likely the most common form of social networking because you can establish connections with professionals that you’ve previously worked with or hope to work with in the future. Unlike other forms of social media, you’ll want to focus on professional connections over personal ones. While it may seem odd to connect with people you’ve never met, these relationships can be substantially beneficial in the future.
You can also ‘follow’ companies that you admire. Find out who is employed at the company and see if you have any connections with them. When you do connect with someone, include a brief note in your connection explaining who you are.
2. Reach out to people from college.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and connect to people from your university that you’ve never met. Often, people are eager to help those that study at their alma mater.
I’ve reached out to a woman who works for CNN and she had spoken at my university a few days prior. When I contacted her, she was incredibly receptive to my request for advice.
Start by focusing on what you can give rather than what you can receive. If you begin the conversation by asking for a recommendation, a referral, or even a job, it can make a bad impression when you haven’t laid out what you can bring to the table.
Let them know what you admire about their work and how, given the opportunity, you can help them to go further in their career as well.
3. Connect with people who are diligent and proactive.
Do you know someone that is extremely hardworking but you haven’t spoken directly to them since the start of quarantine? Reach out to them!
It’s much easier to build relationships with hardworking individuals early on than it is to try and have them remember you down the road when they work at your dream company.
Again, let them know the ways in which this professional relationship can be beneficial for both people involved. Let them inspire you to be even more ambitious and analyze what steps they’ve taken that are contributing to their success.
Even with something as unexpected and inconvenient as the COVID-19 pandemic, networking is only a click away! Networking early and often can help you to get closer to landing your dream job and meeting the people who can help ensure that your goals come to fruition.