How to build relationships while remote

My manager and I had a level-set conversation last week when we talked about how I can build my network more widely. I thought about this and realized how hard that is, not just during a pandemic when everyone is 100 percent remote, but also as a full-time, remote employee even after the pandemic has come to an end. How do you really “network” with people who are outside of the everyday people you work and collaborate with on customer work or internal projects? It’s awkward to just send a calendar invite to someone you have no established relationship with and expect them to show up simply because you asked. It’s also difficult to do this given we’re now at the one-year mark with the pandemic, and so everyone is experiencing massive Zoom / video chat fatigue. I generally don’t even like networking in person, but it’s much easier to meet or run into people in the office kitchen or at the water fountain than forcing a Zoom invite on them.

So that make me curious. My manager said she’s strongly considering me for a promotion come my one year mark, but how does that work if “building my network/my brand” is a part of this?

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