I’m not the biggest fan of networking; it’s awkward for me. I understand the value of making and building connections, I just sometimes wish there was an easier way.
I recently said yes to an after work event where networking was a big part of the evening. Throughout the day I kept asking myself “why did you say yes to this?” But deep down I knew why. I needed this. I have to get out of my oh so comfy comfort zone. I attended the event and although I still can’t get beyond just saying hello to the new people and then gravitating to the ones I know, I learned some things during this event that I needed to share with my Bolder Sisters. If you’re nervous about networking, here are some things to keep in mind.
- There are some in the room who feel the exact same way you do. I could easily tell, during my after work event, that others find this way of meeting people awkward too. So that should ease some concerns.
- All you can do is be you. I’m loving that I’m finally at this place of acceptance of self. So, I’m really feeling who I am. Whoever has a problem with me, is the problem. This new found self love makes networking a lot less uncomfortable.
- There are tons of benefits. You may meet someone who’s going to help take you to that next level. Be open and know what you’re looking for before going in. For example, are you looking for a graphic designer or even someone who can connect you to job opportunities? Keep those eyes and ears open and start connecting.
- Preparing your approach in advance is also helpful. A good opening is introducing yourself and asking the other person what made them come to the event or how they’re connected to the organization. It’s a great opener and will lead to a good conversation.
- You don’t have to do all the work. People will approach you. Be open, be approachable and you’ll be surprised how many will be drawn to you. Make sure to move around. Standing still all night may not reap the benefits you’re hoping for.
Bolder Sisters it’s our season to step out of the shadows and show the world who we are and what we bring. We are each a force to be reckoned with. Our gifts and talents can no longer collect dust on the shelves of our lives. Networking is one great place to start.
Bolder Sisters, please share one of your networking experiences below.