Networking in 2020: Continue Building Relationships

By ProVision Staffing

Reaching out to your network through emails, texts or calls has never been more important than now. Pre-pandemic, networking events were held at specific venues but now these have shifted to online mediums. COVID19 has changed the way people connect, but that doesn’t mean that networking or nurturing of relationships should stop.

Here are few tips to help you strengthen your network amidst social distancing:

1. Strategic Online Networking: With in-person meetings and professional events off the calendar for a little while now, make the most use of online networking platforms such as LinkedIn, or even registering for webinars and podcasts that interest you. Spend time connecting with professionals that share similar interests and or those who work within the same industry.

2. Re-engage Existing Contacts: Building a genuine network involves checking in on your existing network, be it your ex-colleague or previous employer. Think about the various touchpoints and how you can proactively reach out to them. Connect with your strongest allies and let them know what you’re looking for: it could be a new job, investment ideas or career advice.

3. Personalize Your Communication: This is the right time for you to lead and engage your connections with personalized communication. Engage in relevant and meaningful conversations that you would be happy to receive. It could be as simple as wishing your ex-colleague ‘Happy Birthday’ or congratulating someone on completing a one-year work anniversary. These gestures will help you in building stronger connections.

4. Practice Empathy: Everyone is dealing with COVID19 related anxiety and isolation in some way or another. When approaching someone that has been affected by this crisis, it is important to extend empathy and reaffirm that things will get better.

5. Leverage LinkedIn: LinkedIn recently introduced a quick and easy way to solicit feedback from your network via ‘LinkedIn polls’. This is a great feature to spark new conversations, receive relevant input and have informed discussions with your connections. Use this downtime to work on your LinkedIn profile, update your work history, request recommendations from previous employers/mentors and start sharing authentic content with your connections and those who are not within your network.

Coping With Job Loss: Take Charge & Keep Going

Two-in-five Canadian households have already experienced some type of job loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Losing your job is stressful under normal circumstances but during this time of uncertainty it can be especially daunting.  But don’t give in to despair and anxiety.  Take charge of the situation and develop a plan for being mentally healthy and focused on your goal of finding another opportunity in due time.  

We would like to share some tips for staying on track and remaining optimistic as you find yourself stuck at home, isolated and/or frustrated, and with much more time on your hands than you were used to:

Keep job searching:  Stay positive and recognize that this is a temporary setback.  While getting back out there with an aggressive job search and networking agenda right now might be tricky due to office closures and social distancing, keep moving ahead and don’t stop looking for opportunities.  Hiring may have slowed in many industries but hiring managers and staffing firms are building a pipeline of talent at all times.  Reach out to them and pitch what you have to offer.

Hone your skills:  Use this time to update your skills as well as learn some new things.  Research which skills are most valuable to employers in your industry and sign up for online classes or free tutorials.  There are also many charitable organizations who can use a helping hand right now.  Volunteering is a good way to gain some hands-on experience in a different capacity and will help to fill the employment gap in your resume.

Grow your network: This might seem an impossible task in today’s world of social distancing and isolation, but growing your network is still achievable.  Join a webinar and interact with the participants and/or presenters, engage in conversations by email or phone, and connect with new groups on social media. Start with your existing network and devise a plan for how you can build out.  Because many opportunities go unadvertised, having a strong network is very helpful.

Connect with a staffing firm: We don’t bite.  In fact, our recruiters can help you assess your skills, provide tips on best resume writing practices, and talk you through the necessary steps for finding a new job, all without any cost to you.  Think of us as your support system during this time.  Friends and family can offer sympathy, but we will take charge and set you on a course to a new career opportunity.

Losing a job is never easy.  Companies are having to make difficult decisions during this time and employee layoffs are unfortunately the consequence of having to cut back on operations and expenses.  No matter what your personal situation is, try to remain motivated and set yourself up for job search success for after everything returns to normal.      

For information about what the Canadian government is offering to workers who have lost their job due to COVID-19

How to Differentiate Yourself Through Personal Branding

Professional growth is about more than what you can do – it’s about how you are seen by those who are influential in your career. Whether you want to get in the running for a promotion or attract more clients, you have to make it crystal clear who you are and what sets you apart from others in your same line of work. The way to stand out is by marketing yourself via developing a personal brand, or actively cultivating a perception of yourself among others. Differentiate yourself through personal branding with these tips:

Develop Your Message

First things first: Before you can build a personal brand, you have to pinpoint precisely what differentiates you from other finance professionals. Is it your passion, personality traits or unique professional history? Answer the question of what makes you different and develop a set message that you will consistently aim to convey across channels to build your brand.

Establish an Online Presence

Take control of your image by establishing an online presence, such as an industry blog or professional website. You can write about your areas of specialty in an authoritative manner and use your authentic voice through your communication style. When prospective employers or clients search online, they’ll learn who you are by the content you personally curated. 

Strengthen Your Voice on Social

While other online channels tend to be more polished, social media is the ideal opportunity to showcase who you really are professionally and make you memorable. Get involved in conversations on industry topics on LinkedIn, post your thoughts about current trends and news on Twitter, etc. The more you interact as yourself on social media, the more it will strengthen your voice and personal branding.

Participate in Public Forums

Volunteer or accept any invitations for public speaking in a professional setting, such as finance conferences. Speaking to a captive audience of your peers or superiors gives you an up close and personal chance to demonstrate your industry knowledge and personality. The more you participate in public forums, the more you are solidifying your brand.

Network Consistently

Go the grassroots method of differentiating yourself through personal branding by reframing what it means to network. Networking isn’t just about schmoozing at official industry networking events – every conversation you have, even just a brief interaction in the breakroom at work or speaking up and asking questions at a meeting, is a chance to form relationships and build awareness of who you are.

Put Your Personal Branding To Good Use

Take your career to the next level with PTC Recruiting. We are an accounting and finance staffing firm with nearly three decades of experience filling positions for some of the best employers across GTA and southern Ontario. Our mission is to truly listen and understand the needs of job seekers and only bring them the opportunities that are truly the best overall fit for them. Search our available jobs now to see what PTC has to offer.