[Guest Blog] 3 Tips For Networking In The New Normal by Reena James

Guest blog by Reena James

Image via Unsplash

The pandemic brought along many changes, one of which is the idea of the “new normal” for professionals. However, the BBC reports that there is still no way to exactly define what these new normal work changes will finally look like due to the unpredictable course of the pandemic. What they can be sure of is that workers are less likely to find pre-pandemic work structures with more companies offering flexible or hybrid work setups.

Often, the new normal prioritises a hybrid work option where an employee can work from home or at the office – depending on the company’s wishes. But how does this affect the practice of networking where the essence of socialising and meeting new people is important? Read through our tips below to know more about networking in the new normal.

Use LinkedIn to join professional communities

LinkedIn is a social media platform and the largest professional network on the internet. It can help you begin and strengthen professional relationships. Moreover, it is a platform that can help you learn and grow in your career.

As we wrote in our previous post on ‘The 4 Keys to Networking for the Business Generation’, LinkedIn can create successful connections through its lead generation tools. Using LinkedIn to join various communities and groups can allow you to meet industry experts, peers, and other professionals. In addition, it is also a powerful platform that will help you find job opportunities that can offer you the challenge you need.

To use LinkedIn, you must update your profile with relevant information to help you find like-minded people in the same field. It is also helpful to start finding your in-person connections on LinkedIn and widen your network by tapping into mutual connections.

Express what you need from your network

Even though you will likely be networking remotely, you still need to remember traditional networking techniques. Networking is about developing relationships, opportunities, and connections. Communication, no matter through what platform, is essential in networking. It is the foundation that builds your network. Clear communication can help you meet more people who will help you grow along the way.

One of the remote networking tips listed by LHH is being deliberate in what you want from your network, as this is key to building fruitful relationships. You need to express specific intent to prove that you have a clear goal. This helps your network know that you are genuine in your need to connect and learn. Be direct and honest – this will allow you to meet great people

Explore Reddit to pursue your interests

Reddit is more than just forums for fandoms and internet theories. In fact, similar to LinkedIn, Reddit is actually a social news website and forum where you can find specific content and communities. It’s an incredible platform to gain information about niche topics and hobbies. “Subreddits,” the communities within Reddit, range from philosophy, languages, physics, food, celebrity, and work topics.

What is great about Reddit is that you can network in a more casual environment. You can pursue your interests while meeting people who like the same things as you. This way, you can make a connection with people on a deeper level on top of the professional aspect.

The first thing you’ll need to do to join Reddit discussions is create an account. After that, you can easily find subreddits that can suit your interests.

While the new normal has changed a lot about how we work, networking is still a vital part of your career growth – whether in-person or remotely. If you are now a remote worker we hope the above tips are useful.

 

Article contributed by Reena James

Out of a Job? Resources for Finding Remote Work, Succeeding and Knowing the Tools You Need by Eleanor Wyatt

Guest blog by Eleanor Wyatt, Remote Work Wellness

 

As a digital nomad, have you lost your work-from-home career during the coronavirus pandemic? As difficult as this time may be, there are some things you can do to find new remote work. And who knows, maybe you will stumble across work that you enjoy more than what you used to do!

To help you find remote work, transition to a new career, and get all the tools you need in these uncertain times, Performance Works offers the following resources to consider.

Implement a Plan

It can be easy to fall into the trap of staying in your PJs all day and watching TV. However, while it might be a few weeks before you land anything, having a plan in place can help you stay at the top of your game:

  • Add structure, like filing for unemployment and having a job search schedule
  • Turn to LinkedIn to make a more compelling profile
  • Reach out to your network to let them know you’re searching for employment
  • Go after future goals. Want to start a business? Start learning the ropes with these resources – Creating a business plan. Deciding what to sell.
  • If your home doesn’t accommodate your goals for starting a business, look into how much you can spend and find a place that’s more accommodating.
  • Incorporate a positive daily practice like meditation, exercise, journaling, or reading

Finding Remote Work

While starting with job boards is your best, consider some of the many companies that are currently hiring. Even if you land a part-time role, it could be a great launching pad for you to move to full-time. Several major companies hiring remote workers right now include:

  • Facebook, which plans to hire an additional 10,000 employees
  • Varsity Tutors, which expects to hire 10,000 instructors
  • Zoom Video and Slack, and both continue to add new jobs every day

Use Keywords to Help Your Resume and Cover Letter Stand Out

In addition to underscoring your experience and skills, you want to help your soft skills to stand out. This shows potential employers you are comfortable making decisions and working well with others. Show off some of your top qualities by:

  • Explaining how you applied courage with an experimental process
  • Highlighting your openness and how you show compassion and handle failure
  • Providing a situation where your integrity shined
  • Offering up an instance where you remained vigilant as you watched a project unfold

Chasing Success

To ensure you’re ready to go when that job lands in your lap, you need to be completely prepared on multiple levels. Having structure and tech in place shows potential employers you understand how to maximize productivity and take care of yourself. Things to consider:

Just because you lost your job doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Use these resources to help you handle a career upset, find remote work, make your resume and cover letter shine, and be prepared for when you get hired. In no time, you could be on your way to a revitalized career!

[Guest Blog] 6 Lessons Learned From a Year of Remote Work by Eleanor Wyatt

Guest blog by Eleanor Wyatt, Remote Work Wellness

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work was a relatively uncommon job perk. By mid-2020, it became a necessity with nearly half of all employees working remotely during the pandemic.

With the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic well underway, the companies that found themselves unexpectedly thrust into remote work are finally hitting their stride. What lessons have we learned at Performance Works International and what struggles remain? These are the unexpected upsides and ongoing challenges of the remote shift.

The Good: Remote workers are just as productive

Managers feared that remote work would enable slacking off, but data proves the opposite is true: Due to shorter commutes, a reduction in office space, and talent pool expansion, remote work is predicted to increase productivity by 5% across the economy. Managers are noting productivity upticks among their own teams with shorter project turnarounds and reduced absenteeism.

The Bad: Remote teams are harder to manage

Management is a stressful job under normal circumstances — just take a look at the statistics here — and remote work amplifies those challenges. Work-life balance is harder to maintain when subordinates work varying schedules and miscommunication and silos run rampant without appropriate communication infrastructure. Going forward, remote team managers must strike a balance between being responsive to remote employees’ needs and avoiding micromanaging.

The Good: Flexible work lowers employee turnover

Employees are also happier working from home. Three out of four remote workers say they’re less stressed, more focused, and less likely to get caught up in office drama while working from home. That spike in job satisfaction contributes to a 25% lower turnover rate in companies that offer remote work.

The Bad: Remote work can be isolating

The flip side of fewer water cooler conversations is that remote employees are prone to loneliness and isolation. It’s up to managers to keep remote workers engaged by creating opportunities for connection and ensuring remote workers have access to the information they need to perform. Many companies are discovering the best way to achieve this is with a hybrid working model that gives employees the best of both worlds — face-to-face connection and remote flexibility.

The Good: Remote work accelerated digital adoption

The rapid shift to remote work triggered a scramble to equip employees with the necessary tools to work from home. Suddenly, companies were migrating to the cloud and digitizing internal operations to reach employees at home. Beyond enabling remote work, the digital workspace is making organizations more integrated, organized, and resilient than ever before.

The Bad: Remote work increases cybersecurity risk

The race to digitize also left companies with big holes in their cybersecurity infrastructure. Each remote worker represents an endpoint and, in turn, a security risk. The result of these vulnerabilities was a dramatic spike in cyber attacks, particularly ransomware and social engineering attacks. To manage risk in an increasingly dangerous virtual world, organizations must adopt a proactive approach to IT support. This includes ramping up training, requiring employees to connect over VPNs, and ditching bring-your-own-device policies in favor of secured devices.

Remote work has a lot to offer organizations, but the rapid transformation to working from home hasn’t been without its challenges. As companies look forward to another year, it’s time to move out of crisis mode and start planning for the future of flexible work. Whether your organization goes remote-first, adopts a hybrid work model, or returns to an office-first culture, the demand for flexibility isn’t going anywhere. The companies that fare best in the digital era will be those that adapt.