Can you think of anyone you know who actively seeks out networking opportunities? If you’re an introvert, this may seem unbearably awkward and uncomfortable for you.
You recognize, however, the importance of networking to your professional success, whether your goal is to advance your current position or to launch a new venture. Developing strong networking abilities is crucial for professional success. So, what can be done to alleviate the pressure?
You can get more out of your network by using these suggestions, and who knows, maybe you’ll even love it!
- Do your homework.
Sometimes, we hate things that we do not understand. Appreciating the event and being grateful for that opportunity is a great start. And of course, to fully understand the event, we have to do our homework. Networking can be a great opportunity if you do your homework and know what to expect.
You wouldn’t go into a job interview or a crucial meeting without making the necessary preparations, would you? Do not approach networking events differently. Investigate the event, the organizers, and the attendees as thoroughly as possible. Learn as much as you can about the event’s organizers from their website, and come up with at least a couple of conversation starters to ease the ice with other attendees.
- Find yourself a role.
Try to think of a way you can provide your assistance if it’s appropriate. If you hold an official position you already have an excuse to talk to others. Make sure to get in touch with the event planners in advance, although it’s possible they may need some help with tasks like registering attendees and distributing welcome packets. You may volunteer to take pictures or live-tweet the event. In the event of a question and answer session, you could assist in passing the microphone.
As you offer to help, do not forget to smile. No matter how shy you are, remember that everyone appreciates a friendly face. Smile at the people you meet, and be genuinely interested in what they do. When you’re talking to someone, think about how you can help them, rather than what they can do.
- Take a friend.
It’s not necessary to attend networking events alone on your own. Inviting a friend or co-worker to share the knowledge would make you feel much better. If you’re around other people, you’ll feel more comfortable striking up conversations, and you’ll probably appear friendlier as well.
- Find the key networker.
Thankfully, there are people who are good at connecting and interacting with others. Make use of it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to find an extrovert who’s natural at making connections and can help you out. There will always be one or two persons in a large group who take pleasure in mingling with others. Determine who it is and get the rewards of their favorable networking. If you follow in their footsteps, you’ll quickly feel at home within the group.
- Turn it into a game.
Perspective is powerful. If we put in our mind that networking is such a heavy task, it will really be heavy for us. But if we change our perspective and look at it in a positive way, it will definitely ease our task. Turning networking into a game is one way to relieve pressure and have fun. Do yourself a favor and develop a to-do list or a bingo card of things you want to accomplish before you leave. You can set a target of meeting two new people, distributing five business cards, or adding three new connections on LinkedIn as part of your networking strategy.
When you Network with Gratitude, you take the focus off of yourself and your own objectives and instead shift it to the other person. Asking questions about their work, their life, or their interests shows that you care about them as a person – not just as a potential business
Networking events provide an opportunity for you to listen and learn about other people and what they do.