Networking from home

JULIE CHASE | APRIL 10, 2020

While some of you have probably wished to work remotely at one point or another, I’m sure this is not exactly how you imagined it. As we’re adjusting to the new normal, one thing has become abundantly clear — connection is paramount.

Whether you’re job searching or not, networking from home is a fantastic way to connect. I’m a big proponent of year-round networking. It’s a great way to learn, solve problems, share experiences and get support.

I love learning from our clients. Before the virus, about 65% of networking was done by phone — now it’s 100%. The happy surprise is that the amount of networking has nearly doubled. They’re getting more responses from former colleagues, friends and even new contacts.

Maybe it’s because they have more time (I’ve heard from several people say they have less meetings — saving them 2-3 hours a day) or people are practicing greater kindness. I believe it’s because people are needing and embracing connection more than ever.

And while there’s a lot of news about layoffs and rising unemployment, the reality is that many companies are still hiring. Every day I help people prepare for interviews via video and then help them negotiate offers. According to LinkedIn, 70% of people get jobs through referrals. Networking not only helps you learn more about companies, but also helps you get referrals and introductions to key contacts.

Regardless of whether you’re looking for a new opportunity, I encourage you to set aside a couple of hours a week to network. The people who respond will be delighted to hear from you and will look forward to reconnecting.

Here are a few easy steps you can take at the beginning of each week:

  • Identify people you want to catch up with. Think about former colleagues and friends you haven’t spoken to in awhile. Include people from years ago — dormant ties are often strong ties.
  • Reach out to them. Craft a good email that you can repurpose and include a spot to personalize (mention their family, mutual friend, etc.).
  • Think of some good questions to ask beyond how they’re doing during this time. Ask what’s the most interesting project/problem they’re working on, what’s something they want to accomplish this year or what’s the best book they’ve read recently.
  • Take advantage of free video conferencing tools like Google Hangouts or Zoom. It makes it a more engaging experience.

If you are job searching, here are a few resources that might be helpful.

I hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy.

PS: I came across several notes like this on job boards. I appreciated Atlassian’s transparency and thoughtfulness.

Atlassian is continuing to hire for all open roles with all interviewing and on-boarding done virtually due to COVID-19. Everyone new to the team, along with our current staff, will temporarily work from home until it is safe to return to our offices.