Under normal circumstances, reaching out to someone with a simple greeting like "How are things? Hope you are well!" would be fine. But these days, hardly anyone is "fine." While fewer than 1 % of Americans have actually contracted COVID-19, 14% say they know someone who has, according to a poll taken during the first week of April by Axios-lpsos. That, along with the strain of work and home lives colliding, is putting people under stress. More than 40% of Americans say their emotional well-being has gotten worse, according to the same poll.
Experts say any notes should display kindness, sincerity, and authenticity. Indeed, a note to someone in a network may not even mention anything about jobs. "For me, I might say, 'I'm reaching out hoping that you're happy and healthy, and sending good thoughts your way,"' says David Ginchansky, a career coach at Korn Ferry. Another approach might be to ask, "How are you holding up?" and share something about your own status during the crisis.
Just acknowledging how difficult things are is often appreciated, and it can be sent to nearly anyone in a network. This may mean reaching out to a lot of people. "It's more likely to be 100 than just one dozen," says Alan Guarino, vice chairman of Korn Ferry's Board and CEO Services practice. "You touch a lot of people and it's good for them to know you are thinking about them."