Networking in the Age of COVID

And why not?  You've got better things to do than sit around watching the news or shopping for things you don't really need.  Yes, get out into your workspace (or find an area in your house that's not too cluttered) and get to it.  NOW!

The rules of networking haven't changed much except you can't meet anyone at a coffee shop, during happy hour, office, or your home.  You can attempt the last option if you like but if it were me, I'd at least make sure to have many masks to give away (one reason to practice smizing).  Especially since my place can only accommodate about 3-5 people model-size (or 1-2 average/plus size) people.

So, you've got LinkedIn and maybe a couple of other online groups that are a little sleepy right now.  Maybe you're the one that's been hibernating on some opportunities.  Either way, many businesses haven't slowed down during this pandemic.  Besides Amazon, there are more companies who could use help, or maybe your brilliant idea is perfect for their current needs.

Whatever the case, you should still prepare yourself to pitch or ask questions during that Zoom meeting.  Like Skype interviews, be prepared to enunciate while speaking and make sure your background is free of clutter.  While kids and pets are adorable, they don't need to be a part of the scenery.  And for my boomerang freelancers out there, tell Mom you need some privacy for about an hour or so.

Yep, be prepared to converse before going in for the kill.  Hate to sound so mean but according to Business Know-How, real conversation before direct pitching is highly encouraged.  I know, there's much going on in the world and it's hard to remain engaged.  You may have to be the one that gets the party started.

However, if things are dead, get out.  You've got better things to do watch reruns or worse, reality TV.  Signs of death on Zoom or other meeting app are as follows -

  • No one is paying attention (all black or mostly black screens)
  • The host is having a private convo with a single person for more than 30 seconds 
  • Too many distractions (The host needs to offer attendees a test login and give a pre-meeting warning about barking dogs and/or aggressive toddlers, talkative grandparents, etc. before logging in)
If one networking session doesn't go as planned, don't get discouraged.  Sometimes, you can create your own session in online forums or start your own group.  Happy chatting $$$!