Since many of us are working remotely these days, you may think that your pet projects won't get traction and your visibility will diminish. Yet there are 2 areas right now, we can focus on that will help our long-term success.
1. Build a Network Strategy
A good view to have right now is seeing networking as a deliberate, long-term strategy. View as ongoing and casual, for the purpose of re-connection. Perhaps even more important, make sure to network outside your particular industry, similar to having a diverse financial portfolio.
Worried you might not have much in common with those outside your field? Here's a strategy - go to your alumni network and check in to see how members of your class are doing. After your initial contact, make sure to ask for a referral—someone else interesting that you should connect with in the future. This is not being “schmoozy;” you are only looking to meet interesting people. You may even make some new friends along the way.
2. Focus on Internally Networking
You may have great ideas that often get lost or overlooked. Here's some advice on how to have your opinions heard, and more importantly, executed.
First: in every meeting, make sure to make at least one comment or recommendation. Secondly, focus on internal networking. Remember that chatting with people internally is just as crucial as communicating with folks outside the company. While internal networking may feel like an extra burden, we tend to spend a disproportionate amount of time externally networking—yet your internal network can create a steady stream of referrals coming to you, almost like your own personal LinkedIn group. Don’t overlook its value.
A third suggestion is to participate in social network opportunities, via adding a comment or writing a post for your internal network. These steps will help you get noticed and lift your brand. For example, you could post something like this: "Here is a script for how I closed the big sale of X." If you’re helping others within your organization grow, the company benefits. By following this step, you get to demonstrate that you’re a smart and generous leader.
Lastly, have a plan and a goal of whom to reach out to weekly. For example; if you reach out to one person a week, by the end of the year you will have about fifty new contacts. Those could represent fifty new opportunities.
While it may feel like now is the time to keep your nose down for fear of “bothering” others, it may actually be the perfect time to increase your visibility—both within your organization and outside of it. Take advantage of this period by making the time to connect.
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