Networking is something which many people don't enjoy doing but it can be really helpful if you are job hunting or looking for a job. Its also really useful if you are considering or thinking about starting a business. I talk in this video about why you should networking alone but also some of the feelings people feel anxious about before going to a networking event. In this blog post I delve a little bit deeper into why its an important aspect to continue with this aspect throughout your life. Especially if you are looking to progress or change your career.
1. Don't be nervous -It's natural that you may feel a little bit nervous about going networking. Especially if its not really part of the current industry you belong to. Or you have never had to do much before now. Remember everyone is there to meet each other and connect. Its OK to be a bit nervous. Especially if you are a introvert. You may not feel comfortable talking to people you don't know. Or unsure about how to approach others. Just let this evolve naturally.
2. Have fun - If you are talking to lots and lots of people at a networking event and not enjoying it, this may not be a method that just doesn't suit who you you are. We are all driven by people. So if you feel the vibe of a event or the people are not on your wavelength that's OK? Networking should also be about having fun and feeling positive about the people you meet. Test the waters by going to different networking events and seeing where you feel comfortable and where you don't and always ask yourself why, you not feel right at a event. If you are having fun conversations with others and enjoying it, you know its for you and ultimately this will help with your job progression or business.
3. Go alone - You may struggle with this one a little bit however if you go networking with another friend or colleague chances are you may not mingle with someone you would normally talk to. Its important and better to go alone especially if its surrounding your own personal and career growth. Also if you already struggle with your confidence a little networking can be a great way to help you realise that you can do it on your own without someone else by your side. You never know you could even meet a potential employer or prospective business partner.
4. Networking online - Networking isn't just about connecting offline at events you can also network online. Methods for a professional capacity in terms of finding a job can include LinkedIn or Twitter. In fact some people are even networking with recruiters and employers on Facebook sometimes. The difficulty with networking offline especially if you message someone they may not always see or reply to your message unless they have meet you or know you. Remember if someone does connect with you on any platform there is no harm in reaching out to them and sent them a message if you feel called to do so. However only do this if there is something that specifically draws you to the person or you know you would love to have an opportunity to talk to them.
5. Making connections and collaborating - Networking can help you make new connections and give you a chance to even create possible collaborations with people especially if you are business owner. Networking isn't just about making connections though its also about building on those connections and remembering that someday someone may need your help also. Remember to be open to this. If you are looking for a career change and you meet someone in a similar position you could both champion each other on and support your journeys along the way. I myself have made some great business friends. Don't go networking with an attitude of getting something out of it only. As others will see right though this and you won't come across as authentic.
7. Don't let people's comments or judgments put you off - The first networking event I went to I had a great time but I did meet someone who was very judgmental about me. She made an assessment about me within the first 5 seconds of meeting me. I was a little taken a back but I realised it was properly a little bit more about her then me. Be prepared to meet a few difficult or even crafty people. Don't let their thoughts or judgments stop you from doing and being who you are. If this does happen to you brush off any comments and swiftly move on from speaking to them.
I hope these suggestions help you see why networking and going alone may be useful for both you and your professional life. It can really open doors for you and get you known by people you may never of met if you stopped yourself going.
If you have any further questions about this or want to book in a free career consultation with me please go to the following link http://www.thecareerhappinessmentor.com/contact-2/
Wishing you career happiness.