Tips for Timid Networkers
It can be tough to build your network if you’re shy. The idea of walking into a crowd of people that you don’t know can be intimidating. The good news is that you don’t have to be an outgoing person to be a great networker.
While it may be uncomfortable at first, networking is a large part of building your professional community, especially if you are looking for a new job. Keep these tips in mind the next time you find yourself standing in a corner for fear of networking.
- Stay up-to-date – Keeping current with news, events and business trends give you conversation topics to draw from.
- Ask a Question – Jumping in an engaged conversation can be awkward but you can make yourself a part of the group by asking a question. Posing a question can be a much easier way to engage than by stating an opinion.
- Stock Up on Cards – Be sure you carry plenty of business cards with you. Your business card can be a great ice breaker if the other person recognizes your company or knows someone who works there.
- Ask for an Introduction – Oftentimes timid networkers stick together. This is okay, but you both need to branch out. Ask your new buddy if they have met anyone they could introduce you to.
- Initiate Another Meeting – If you want to learn more, but not in the setting of a crowded room, suggest meeting for coffee in a more comfortable and relaxed setting.
- It’s Okay To Excuse Yourself – It’s okay to release the person if the conversation isn’t working out. If you or they have lost interest or a rapport isn’t being built, you don’t have to stay in the conversation.
- Follow Up – Networking is all about building relationships, which takes effort. Keep in contact with people you made a connection with.
And, maybe most important, remember that the more you do it, the easier it becomes!