The ‘new normal’: experts tell how to network during quarantine
Photo: Dylan Gillis / Unsplash
The labor market is experiencing dizzying days, but there is one thing that can help both employees and the unemployed: networking. Love it or hate it, strengthening your network is critical to your career growth and job search.
However, with work lunches and suspended events, how do you network in the age of social detachment? Well, it’s different. But it is also the same.
Current relationships. Keep following people you know, such as friends, colleagues and acquaintances. When asking for something, be specific with what you are looking for.
Inactive relationships. This is where things can get a little complicated. You never know where your next career opportunity will come from. But looking for a former roommate or ex-colleague that you haven’t spoken to in years for help at work may seem selfish.
The key is to have no expectations when making contact. In your initial approach, let people know that you are thinking about them and wondering how they are doing. So, if you have an answer, mention your situation.
But again, don’t be too sharp. Try saying something like, “I’m fine, but recently I got fired and I’m looking for a new job in my field. If you know of any tips or suggestions, I would be grateful. ”
Dress to go out, though virtually. As networking events continue to take place online, take a look at professional associations, alumni groups and social networks for virtual meetings that can lead to connections.
The rules are the same as for face-to-face events: make a quick pitch about yourself, prepare some conversation introductions and get contact information after the event ends.
Go further and host a meeting. Set up a virtual happy hour with some acquaintances and ask them to extend the invitation to one or two people.
As a host, make sure that everyone introduces themselves and has questions prepared to make the conversation flow, avoiding awkward silences.
Increase your exposure. Now is the time to show off your skills and knowledge.
This can mean creating a blog, posting on LinkedIn and other social networks, or hosting a webinar to attract the attention of others in your professional field.
When will the labor market recover?
Job losses happened quickly. Recovery, however, will take much longer.
How long it will take depends on who asks. An expert told Matt Egan of CNN that it could take more than a decade for the unemployment rate to return to 3.5% in the U.S. Another believes that it will take three or four years for this index to fall back to 4% or 5%. And another predicts that the global market will not return to pre-crisis levels until 2022.
Yes, some jobs will come back when local and state economies start to open up for business again. But other activities will take longer to recover – if they do.
It depends a lot on our health response to the pandemic. “If you do not have traces and tests, this recovery will be very small”, said an expert in this report (in English).
A test for employees?
Reopening companies and bringing people back to work is vital to recovering the economy. Companies and governments hope to be able to rely on one method in this resumption: antibody testing.
The idea is that people infected with the virus may have developed antibodies that would give them a certain immunity, allowing them to return to work safely.
But relying on testing can be risky. It is not yet clear that having antibodies guarantees immunity against the virus. In addition, if only those who test positive for antibodies are allowed to return to work, it could lead to discrimination and encourage workers to intentionally expose themselves to contagion.
Source: CNN Brasil.