Skip to main content

5 ways to network when you’re working from home

Written by: Ethan Cumming
Published on: 23 Apr 2020

Network when working from home

  • A strong, active professional network is a powerful tool in the arsenal of any legal professional, and there’s no reason why yours should suffer whilst working remotely. Boost your network and enhance your career prospects without leaving home with these 5 top tips.

    Making valuable connections with other likeminded individuals and industry influencers can reveal previously concealed career opportunities and lay the groundwork for potential clients or business partnerships.

    Traditionally, networking takes place face-to-face at events and conferences - but there are plenty of ways to network when in homeworking legal jobs which can save the time, travel and money associated with attending these industry events.

    Here are five ways to grow your professional network from the comfort of your own home.

  • Engage with Social Media in the Right Way

    Despite the reputation social media has as a time sink and distraction, used in the right way it can be an effective tool for remote networking. The social media platforms you use for networking will vary depending on things like your job title and location, as well as the types of connections you want to make and what you want to get out of them. Do some research into groups on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as career focused Subreddits, to find the communities best suited to your needs.

    Once you’re in, make your name known by engaging with other members of the group. Share relevant articles, comment on others’ posts and generally get involved with the conversations that interest you. To get you started, join the TotallyLegal LinkedIn group to connect with over 1,400 other legal professionals.

    You’ll also be able to make useful connections by registering with a relevant membership body like the Institute of Paralegals or the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs. Membership sometimes requires a small fee but pays for itself several times over.

  • Look for Opportunities to Help Others

    One of the best ways to make a good first impression on someone is to offer help or a solution to a problem they’re having. For example, if someone asks a question about solicitor jobs in one of the Facebook groups or Subreddits that you’ve joined and you can help, post your answer in the comments. The person asking the question - and anyone else reading or commenting on the post - will remember you for your expertise and helpfulness.

    Remember, you don’t have to wait for people to ask questions to provide solutions. If you think that two of your clients could benefit from working together, introduce them via email. If you happen upon a useful online tool, share it in the online groups you’re a part of. Networking is all about putting in more than you expect to get out, so be as helpful and useful as you can now to reap future rewards.

  • Get Your Name Out There

    There are several ways that you can get your name out into the communities important for your network and, while not all of them are essential, they’re all highly effective.

    We’ve already suggested making yourself a trusted voice on social media, but why not take this a step further and start your own blog? If you have expertise in your niche and important things to say, a blog is a relatively easy and often free way to get your voice heard. Once you start to generate views and your audience begins to grow, relevant professionals will be coming to you for advice, solutions and, importantly, because they want to be a part of your network. If you don’t have the time to start your own blog from scratch but still want to get your name out there as the author of some useful content, existing blogs will often publish your article as a guest post.

    If writing isn’t really your thing, there’s plenty of other opportunities for getting your name known by the people you want in your network. For example, you could contact a legal publication and offer to do an interview about your niche expertise, or even start an industry related podcast.

  • Nurture Your Existing Network

    One of the best - and easiest - things you can do for your network in homeworking legal jobs is nurture your existing connections. If clients don’t have much work for you, they will have eventually - and they will remember who reached out to them to check in even when work had dried up.

    Likewise, it’s worth checking in with university alumni, colleagues you don’t get to work with often and other connections you’ve made over your career just to see how they are doing. Any of these people could be the catalyst to your next career opportunity, and you’ll be first in mind if you drop an email, send an instant message or give them a call just to say “how are you?”

  • Plan for the Future

    Set aside some of the free time afforded to you by working from home and use it to research conferences, events or other gatherings dedicated to legal professionals. Getting them in the diary now for later in the year or next year will give you ample time to prepare and make the most of these networking opportunities.

    Successful networking is intentional and meaningful, so we recommend taking some time to research the people and businesses that you want to connect with once at the events. Think about the businesses you want to work for, the clients you want to bring on board and the influential individuals that you would like to have onside, then target your networking efforts accordingly.

    Remote networking isn’t just a back-up for when face-to-face interactions can’t take place, it’s a valuable and efficient way of making connections in its own right. Master it now and your network will benefit from it in the years to come.