A good network is a valuable asset for any working professional looking to advance their career. Working hard is an essential part of the equation to success, but our work rarely occurs in a vacuum; there will always be a need to develop connections and relationships to reach shared goals. And according to The Balance, networking can provide opportunities, additional knowledge and perspective, and communication with like-minded individuals. When you build strong professional links with the right people, they can be mutually beneficial. However, networking can be challenging in a remote setting, but it is not impossible. Here are several ways you can grow your professional network as a remote worker:
1. Always be open to attending virtual events
Things have changed dramatically since remote working became a norm thanks to the pandemic. Corporate events are now taking place on digital platforms to reach their intended audiences. And even as restrictions are becoming more lenient in recent weeks, virtual events are here to stay. In fact, these events are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.6% by 2028. It’s not a surprise considering how almost all industries have adopted the online format. These virtual events allow you to attend as many as you want from home. There are also some online events that are specifically for networking. Apart from that, there’s plenty to learn, too, whether you’re an expert in marketing or just beginning your career in finance.
2. Use social media
Of the many social media platforms available, LinkedIn is perhaps the most renowned for professional networking. You can connect with people you know, share insights and posts, and connect with companies as well. Before you start connecting with other professionals, however, an article on remote networking tips by LHH suggests that you should have an updated professional photo, your current (or most recent) job title, an accurate and up-to-date job history, and relevant skills. It’s also a good idea to fill up the summary section at the top of your profile so anyone looking to connect can get a brief overview of who you are and why networking might be valuable. This is perhaps one of the easiest ways to network because it draws professionals from around the globe onto one platform, just a click away from you. Additionally, digital nomad visas fill a legal vacuum for remote workers who wish to spend short or extended periods of time abroad working independently.
3. Join professional communities on Slack
Another great way to network is by joining communities on Slack! Apart from being a communication platform, Slack has communities with opportunities to find jobs, make connections, and share ideas. Your company might have several existing networks on Slack, but if not, you can find hundreds of free Slack communities that you can join to meet new people. Communities such as Digital Nomads, Remote Work, and We Work Remotely Community are good places to start.
4. Connect with your alumni network
Networking with fellow alumni from your alma mater is one of the best ways to reconnect and meet new people vetted by your former classmates and friends. Whether you use Facebook, LinkedIn, or some other platform, your shared history and memories of your school’s traditions can act as great building blocks for both personal and professional relationships.
5. Join coworking spaces
Coworking spaces became popular because they improved the creativity and productivity of participants within shared physical spaces. Digital coworking spaces are no different. These online counterparts mimic the physical ones, providing simulated offices. In our article on the ‘Benefits of Freelancers Using Coworking Spaces’, we talk about the different benefits for remote workers. First, they make you feel more connected, especially since most of us are stuck at home. It also encourages more flexibility while giving you a semblance of structure. And on top of that, coworking spaces can even encourage you to add wellness to your day.