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Making Networking More Bearable

by Kim on April 29, 2016

I don’t know many people who get excited about networking, even though we know the value of this powerful “tool.” So if you’re anything like I am, and dread it most of the time, there a few tricks to get you through an hour or two.

If you are naturally an organizer, either in your career or personal life, try find an event where you can volunteer behind the scenes. There are number of things that will be needed, be it securing speakers for the event, organizing food and beverage, creating name tags or checking people in. Since not everyone likes to volunteer at events, this is where you can showcase your organizational skills and other strengths while networking at the same time with a bit more fun.

Take an outgoing friend or co-worker so you won’t feel as uncomfortable walking in alone. I enjoy socializing and meeting new people, however, I’m more on my game when I’m with somebody I know. If you are extremely shy, and your friend is not, you could easily work out in advance as to how that person can draw you into a conversation that he/she started.

If possible, try to find out who some of the attendees will be and/or what companies they might be associated with. You can easily look through various social media sites such as LinkedIn or industry publications to identify people you’d like to meet or listen to.

Set a timeline for yourself as to when to leave – something to look forward to as the event progresses  However, try to remember that networking isn’t really all about you and not the time to actively be job searching. True networking is about cultivating relationships and making connections, not necessarily positioning yourself as a job candidate.

Even though I don’t really look forward to these events, I’ve always been glad I went. Hopefully you will too.

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