Are you ready for your close up?
Perhaps the most dramatic effect of our 2020 Covid culture is the emergence of the virtual meeting and virtual networking. With almost no one hosting in-person, live events anymore, your computer screen may be your only job-search window on the world at your disposal.
It should be no surprise that almost all networking groups have converted to virtual meetings. For people who have spent years (and decades) attending live events, this can be quite an adjustment.
There are, however, advantages.
One of the pre-Covid complaints was that there were so many networking events you couldn’t be expected to attend them all. So true. There was a time when a body had to choose from two or three networking events going on at the same time. You could only spread yourself so thin.
With online, virtual networking, that’s no longer a problem. Now a job seeker literally attend two or three events in one day. It’s even possible – although we wouldn’t recommend it – to bounce back and forth between more than one meeting at once.
But this opens whole new vistas for the job seeker. You can attend events without travel time – saving gas and possibly parking fees. For job seekers who are watching their expenses, you no longer have a bar tab nor are there any cover charges or admissions.
Even one-on-one networking has gone virtual – again saving the job seeker travel time, gas, parking, etc. Here, many of the old admonishments still hold true. Do your research on the person with whom you’re meeting. Be mindful of the other person’s time. Be prepared to proffer your resume – in advance whenever possible. And, follow up as appropriate.
It may take some getting used to, but virtual networking – at least for the time being – is here to stay. If you hope to be successful, you had better learn to deal with it.