You are facing this massive employment pool of job prospects or are in an existing job, and the first thing you think about is how well can I perform to make a good impression and keep this job.
That's important, but the first thing you should always think about is networking.
Let's take this from the top - there are many ways to network, and of course during this health crisis it would seem more difficult, but not really because there are others just like you.
Right now you have more of an advantage than before. People are longing to build a connection since we have all moved online. They want a visual interaction. So requesting a digital meetup is not such a bad idea.
The more you get over the fact that you are bugging someone and realize more that you are attempting to build a relationship and learn insight from a professional you consider to be knowledgable in their field - the easier this attempt will be and you'll soon realize that, it is the reason why people are on LinkedIn in the first place.
Digital Meetups is a great way to ask for a short amount of time, 30 minutes is the max time you want to carve out of someone's schedule, to get to know the professional and ask questions. This is a great practice to use when trying to make a connection and in your current job.
People love to talk about themselves, and the more you allow them to do it by asking how they got started and what their responsibilities have been - you'll uncover key information into steps you should mirror or take in order to follow the same path.
Next option is to reach out to an individual who have posted a great article or post that resonated with you from LinkedIn, Instagram or a local magazine.
This is a tactic I have used, primarily contacting professionals listed in magazines in order to pick up freelance gigs or insight on what positions I needed to land in order to lead me into the role they currently hold.
Networking shouldn't be a one way street, meaning you are the only beneficiary. In fact, it should be - you guessed it, a two way street. One thing professionals find to be a pet peeve is for individuals to just want information, or wanting referrals for jobs. Instead, let them know what about their profile intrigued you. What is your long term goal and how it aligns with what they are doing now. Are they looking for interns or additional team member to help with their roadmap initiatives.
A funny thing you may not know, when managers are looking to hire for a new position, they always ask existing team members who do they know, who can they refer? More often no one knows anyone. But if you reach out to people and put your face in front of them - you might land on top of their mind for someone who they can refer for that new opening.
Comment below if you have had any experience in attempting to network!