I wrote an article last December, The Truth About Networking. I was asked constantly about my tips and advice on the best networking events, how to make connections and raise profiles and writing the article seemed like a good way to answer those questions.
As we headed into 2020, the networking scene was picking up, awards were being planned, black tie dinners and plenty of lunches and breakfast rolls to keep everyone fuelled as they made those all important connections.
Little did we know that as little as 8 weeks into the year, a year many started with great optimism, it all shifted on its axis and everything we knew about our way of life changed overnight.
As one of the casualties of redundancy early on, it did cross my mind, how will the business world and individuals who relied on networking for those all important connections adapt and change.
But adapt and change they did. The rush to the digital age, which may have still been a few years away was suddenly thrust upon everyone, with an intimacy and insight into people’s lives we hadn’t had before.
The line between personal and professional disappeared as we viewed each other on square screens on our screens. Hearing phrases like, ‘you’re on mute’ ‘can you hear me’ ‘sorry about the mess in my house’
But with it came the same principles that we had when we were face to face. Now don’t get me wrong there are pros and cons to both elements of networking.
Yet, here I was, unemployed, decided to set up my own ghost writing business and still feeling connected to individuals and organisations, but now it was more national. No longer restricted by travel or time, it was possible to connect and grow and have a support network online without ever having met in person.
Yes, there are cons. Zoom burnout is very real, but how is that any different to be exhausted from eventing face to face?
As with anything that came before, if you are open to change and adapting new ways of thinking and connecting, the digital world opened up the gates to realms we hadn’t quite explored before.
It has been hard and isolating during lockdown but in other ways, we have also been more connected in sharing a collective experience none of us saw coming.
LinkedIn: Mani (Mandeep) Hayre