Building an Effective Virtual Professional Network

Happy New Year! 

If you are reading this, then that means you also made it into the new year and that is a big deal. You have another shot at getting that dream job so let’s get you started with these foolproof tips on building an effective professional network especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic (this has to be the most used phrase in the last 1 year).

As a newcomer in Canada, you would agree with me that one of the most popular terms you hear is Networking. If you think of it as computer networking, you are not far from the truth because it’s simply the interconnection of multiple devices, the twist here is for you to think of those devices as humans. It involves people making connections and building relationships within and outside of the workplace, and finally the most important piece of the puzzle is nurturing these relationships.

Networking is important because it helps you build your social capital, gather and share information and most importantly, it gives you access to opportunities. As a job seeker, job opportunities are a by-product of nurtured relationships so the onus is on you to manage these relationships to yield good results for you. Think of this like an investment in your career that would yield excellent returns.

The next question is WHERE? If you are wondering where to meet people, you are definitely on the right track. There are several online platforms where you can meet people and build your network:  – Spend some time to look at your home feed and see what people are sharing, like and post comments on articles of interest, check for trending topics of interest and contribute. This way you would get meaningful connections and you also get noticed. – Before now, meetups were physical but right now all meet ups have moved online so feel free to sign up and join groups of interest on meetup. Attend events and meet people within your areas, location and/or topics of interest. – Similar to meetup, but it’s a platform where upcoming events are showcased and also enables registration for the events. Check for events of interest and attend as you deem fit.

Facebook – Follow company pages of interest and keep up with their activities. Find out if they are hosting any live events and be a part of those events.

Remember, the goal is to build your network so don’t be shy (it’s easier now that you don’t have to meet anyone face to face), prepare your introduction ahead of time and make sure to follow up after meeting someone.