Summary: There are several different ways to network with others in your direct industry or that have connections with you (think alumni) that are not so intimidating.
Networking can be an absolutely terrifying idea for many. Walking up to strangers at a conference or party is something we need to be able to do but how can we overcome our fear to do this? Luckily you don’t have to start by talking with complete strangers face to face. Use these listed ways to start networking with strangers in a less intimidating way.
Twitter- Using this platform allows you to meet those in your industry and follow the hot topics. You can be engaging with others in thought provoking discussions about your industry without the fear of doing so in-person. Online networking also allows you to meet more than you normally would.
Attend the right events- Some networking events will be more casual and fun than others. Attend events that have a cocktail atmosphere to lighten your fear.
Host your own- Perhaps you find comfort in being the hostess of an event so make your own where you invite others from your industry. You can host it at home or at a local venue.
Attend other kinds of events- Some may find it more beneficial to attend conferences, workshops, or speaker events instead of more social events. These events keep the focus directly on the industry.
Approach small talk differently- Knowing the latest sports stats or the latest celebrity news may not be the best way to create small talk with other professionals. Make small talk by asking them questions about what they do, how they started, what they like the most about their job, etc. These questions will lead to more meaningful and memorable conversations.
Quality not quantity– Don’t attend events thinking you can’t leave until you have gathered over 25 business cards. Focus on meeting a few people and making the meeting worthwhile for both of you. When you take the time to meet just a few people instead of quickly bouncing around, people will appreciate your sincerity and remember you for it.
Photo: mashable.comNetworking Doesn’t Have to Be Scary by Amanda Griffin