If you work remotely, chances are you've experienced a lack of personal connections. After all, you're behind a screen for the majority of your day. And if you work in an office setting, it's still important to be able to foster relationships anywhere you go, whether that's from your office or with external clients on a digital platform. You never know when you'll need a contact to guide you elsewhere. So, stop letting the computer screen hold you back. Here are four ways to connect in your industry regardless of your pinned location:
1. Use social platforms regularly
You're familiar with the basic media sites, Twitter and Facebook, but are you using them to promote new relationships and preserve old ones? Go beyond your usual posts and generic article sharing. Start reaching out to possible mentors, people on a similar career path, or even favorite inspirations. Sure, everyone probably won't connect back, but one could be the connection to your next career change. Other ideas include personalized "thanks for connecting!" messages that highlight something you really enjoyed about their social site. Personal touches make you stand out in the mass of online content.
2. Integrate apps centered on jobs
One search in the app store will send you a surplus of ones for remote workers. Think chat channels like Slack, social media sharing system like Buffer, or Google Docs for collaborative writing. Look at the apps you're already using and see if you can integrate them with your job network more. Think: creating more conversations. If you want to connect in your industry for job opportunities, try an app like Switch that lets you create a profile and begins sharing jobs that fit your experience. You'll then connect directly with hiring managers via email or chat - boom, instant connection.
3. Join (or start) a virtual community
If you're already part of a network , big or small, it could very well have an online community accompanying it. Facebook is a popular outlet to host these so you can be a member of a private group and have instant virtual access to others. Post questions, share ideas, or even brainstorm career advice. Members already have a similar interest, so it's the perfect opportunity to reach out to others with a common ground.
4. Participate in meetups or conferences
When you're living in a state that's generally not known for your industry, it can be difficult to interact with people who "get" it. Take advantage of meetups and conferences. Look at some lineups online and start planning on which ones you'd get the most out of attending. Tip: Choose one that offers work and play. You're more likely to make a great contact if you can talk work then head out to do something fun. If you're not able to leave your city, try participating in things like Twitter chats to get the most of networking from where you are.
I am a Switch Ambassador and have been compensated for my participation. All opinions are my own.