Networking can be an important social etiquette for those who want to meet new people, gather new ideas and most times even land an interview if you are actively looking for a job. If the idea of talking to strangers and not knowing what to say is making you feel self conscious and anxious then read on for some guidelines to help you break the anxiety and get in to the circle of networking.
Start with existing connections
Start by getting in touch with your old friends, relatives and other colleagues you may know. This is a good way to start as you will not be approaching complete strangers but will quickly be able to familiarize and connect with ones you already know and certainly will not be handing out any business cards to introduce. Of course, by the time you approach strangers you might want to have business card printing done as it would be easier to contact each other professionally.
Selection of people
When networking, as an aspiring professional or a professional, it is important to manage your time. Thus, selecting who you want to network with is something that you should consider. If you are familiar with who is in the crowd but has never spoken to them, then the best way would be to simply approach them confidently and introduce yourself. Although, this might be daunting at the beginning, it will become easier the more you do. It is best to have a professional yet attractive business card to hand out during these circumstances so make sure it is not printed off cheap brochure printing shops.
Always be confident in yourself, although it is easier said than done it is single handedly the most important and useful trait you can possess. Confidence inspires confidence in you, most people we think are confident usually don’t have it but, since they have learned to project it well, this confidence soon becomes a reality.
Use an elevator pitch and light conversation
An elevator pitch is simply put a very short summary of the professional you that can be delivered soon- say within the span of an elevator ride. It is not something that you memorize however planning a short pitch to deliver given the situation will help in boosting your confidence and inform your colleagues the most important facts about you without leaving any out. In order to get comfortable with each other and have a feel for the other person, don’t forget to engage in some light conversation as well.