Updated: Mar 21
You’re stuck at home – all of us are. Told you can’t leave the house for basically anything, you might just feel like your life is on hold. All those plans and goals go out the window, right? Wrong. Even though you’re cooped up indoors, you can still build life-changing social capital, and even make that bread.
If you play it smart, social distancing can still mean social capital. Here are six powerful ways you can start building social capital today:
Social media’s a tool – so use it
I know what you’re thinking – an article recommending social media? Are we nuts? But while scrolling through and liking people’s content over and over can be a major time suck, it’s an opportunity for connection. One you’re probably using wrong. Have you ever counted how many posts you like a day? Out of all of those, you probably don’t comment or message people very often. Next time, try reaching out. Comment and engage. Start a conversation with the people you admire, and tell them what you’re doing in your own life.
Folks are lonely right now, and your willingness to start talking will go a long way.
Recognize what you have to offer
Even if you’ve never landed a job yet, you’re a skilled person. Now’s the time for all of us to step up as a community and offer our skills. If someone needs help, reach out to them. Contact friends, peers, and acquaintances near and far, let them know the things you’re good at, and share those skills with the world.
Maybe you have a good, cheap recipe using shelf-stable ingredients, or maybe you’re healthy and can help your elderly neighbor avoid the stores by grocery shopping for her. Whatever it is you can do to step up for your community, don’t hesitate. It’s the right thing to do, and also, people will notice. When all of this is done, you’ll have built meaningful connections with people who saw you go to bat for your community in need.
Reach out to old connections to talk
These are scary times, and if you aren’t in the grocery or medical industry, odds are you have lots of time on your hands. Many of us are picking up that phone to call folks we haven’t talked to in awhile – and now’s your perfect time to reach out to extended family, teachers, and other positive forces for good in your life.
And when you start talking to people again online, schedule a time to talk virtually face-to-face. Get on Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom and follow through. Show you’re a reliable person to connect with, and ask the people you admire if there’s any way you can help them professionally or personally.
Take the time to hone in on new skills
We all have more time than ever on our hands. Rebuilding social connections is great, but don’t stop there. Take some of that extra time to learn a new skill. Coursera is an amazing way to take classes from top colleges like Princeton for free. Wow future employers with the new things you learn, like the ins and outs of Bitcoin or the meaning of contemporary art.
EdX is another great site to find online classes that will transform your career. Make the most of your classes. Connect with other people who are taking them, and share your progress with the people in your life who inspire you, like teachers, community leaders, and artists. As you hit milestones, share that with them individually and start a conversation about your goals in these courses.
Get remote work experience
If you have steady WiFi and a decent computer, you can still build up your resume with remote work experience. Look for jobs online with sites like Upwork, Fiverr, ProBlogger, and Idealist, and get inspo from successes like Jorden at Creative Revolt to see how to make six figures working from home.
Under eighteen? You’re still in luck. Check this guide to remote work for teens.
The world is changing – fast. You can stay ahead of the curve by using your social distancing time to build up social capital. What’s your next move?
Edward DeJesus is the President of DeJesus Solutions, the Founder of Social Capital Builders. You can reach ed @ email@example.com