Be realistic on what do you miss the least about your working life before the Covid-19 pandemic? After a lengthy commute, the second would be networking events. Research confirms that the very idea of networking can make the most extreme extroverts feel uncomfortable, inauthentic, and even sometimes dirty.

Using the scarcity of in-person communications during the COVID-19 pandemic as a justification for a continued networking gap stands to hurt your career over the long run. From staying plugged into your industry’s newest advancements to looking for unforeseen opportunities, better networking practices bring unparalleled professional gains that it must be regarded as a must-do instead of a nice-to-have. A halt on the idea of networking can damage your professional career as it is giving up on exercising for your well-being, and that’s especially true during times of uncertainty, such as the recession brought upon by the global pandemic.

Conventional advice suggests people on the why and how of networking but do very little to approach the more profound concern on acquiring and remaining motivated to participate in this better networking effort. A theoretical and innovative attack on this concern by finding out ways in which people’s hidden beliefs can hold them back from the idea of networking. Our findings imply that confronting these beliefs can modify people’s capacity to engage in real-world networking.

Lay theories of networking

The words “fixed mindset” and “growth mindset” are the everyday lexicon of personal growth. Maintaining a growth mindset involves seeing oneself as a constant work-in-progress, with much more relaxed limits on what we can achieve and become. Whether someone’s mindset is fixed or growth might predict one’s urge to perform unfamiliar and uncomfortable activities like learning a new language, etc.

Fixed-mindset personalities will not only see less purpose in trying complex tasks. Still, they will also be much more susceptible to the few unavoidable failures that might happen along the way. If one’s potential is typically inactive, then mistakes are regarded as a menace to primary self-worth. If one recognizes a broader capacity for self-growth, then the stumbles in the course of better networking might even be embraced as learning experiences on the road to greatness.

The motivation for better networking would partially rely on whether people held flexible or fixed attitudes towards three critical components of networking: social capital, social relations, and social intelligence. We describe these types of attitudes to lay theories of networking ability. For instance, having a fixed mindset regarding social intelligence implies believing that one’s capability of better networking – what makes a better networker – is extensively a subject of fundamental personality traits, like how charismatic or extroverted you usually are. In this view, better networking feels potentially susceptive in addition to being mostly useless. Therefore, we assumed that personalities with a fixed mindset would be more likely to encounter low motivation and negative feelings to put themselves out there.

Testing the Theories

Firstly, a survey of 215 full-time American working professionals about their beliefs and feelings regarding the idea of networking. These likely emotional and mental correlations were apparent: Respondents claiming to have fixed beliefs about better networking were more inclined towards saying they dreaded it, and it was both ineffective and potentially susceptive. We found that the participants, to a notable degree, felt the beliefs communicated in the article. Therefore, participants were primed to have negative opinions and fixed beliefs about the idea of networking, attended fewer events, and vice versa.

In further studies, we found that fixed or malleable readings provided to the networking events influenced their attitude about the event. In other words, transforming people’s mindsets helped to deter whether their better networking experience was more positive or negative.

 Final Thoughts

So, what would a growth mindset towards the idea of networking look like during the Covid-19 pandemic? In the middle of this global pandemic, it is undoubtedly tough to create brand-new connections and make them stick around. Nevertheless, there are indeed people whom you’ve known for a while now and with whom you could reconnect. Possibly someone you liked running into and conversing with at pre-pandemic events will relish if you get in touch with no agenda other than just to check-in and see how they are doing amid all the pandemic chaos. Remain flexible, resist the temptation to force fixed criteria, and better networking in a pandemic can take on an entirely new meaning. We hope this article helped you recognize how you might be stopping yourself from establishing a rich network.