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Overcoming Your Fear of Networking

You have to attend a networking event and you're a little uneasy about going.

 

Don’t worry. You're not alone.

 

For many people, networking is the thing that no one wants to do. However, it's also non-negotiable because making meaningful connections is how we achieve our professional goals. And making connections and networking is often how we find our next job opportunity and advance our careers.

 

One way to overcome your fear of networking is to remember that other people probably feel uncomfortable at a networking event, too. Think about how to break the ice.

 

One of the first tools of networking is being able to make small talk. Figure out how to ask questions. Get comfortable talking about the weather or your favorite sports team. These are easy ways to connect with others. For example, you start talking about the Eagles and the next thing you know, you attended the same high school or you know the same person. Now, you have a connection that transcends that specific moment.

 

If you are the person who makes the opening remark, it can often be a way to get other people comfortable. Shifting that power dynamic can give you the confidence and courage to make potentially important connections.

 

At your next networking event, don’t think you have to meet your next boss. Rather, think that you just need to help other people make connections and be comfortable. If you can do this, you can help others and help yourself. 

 

And remember: networking doesn't happen in just one place. It can happens at your kids’ soccer game or a community meeting or while you are waiting for the bus. You can make interesting and meaningful connections with people no matter where you are or with whom you're speaking.


When you become a student at Peirce College, you have access personalized career counseling through our Center for Career and Professional Development. Get more career tips.
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