Are you new to networking? Are you terrified of entering a room of strangers by yourself and striking up a conversation? If the thought of networking is something that is really scary to you, there are several things that you should consider.
First, nearly 80% of all jobs are found through some type of networking. Building relationships one at a time is the best way to network. When it comes to finding a job or a source of information, it is not about what you know or who you know, but rather it is about who knows you. When you meet someone and connect with them you will likely realize that they have ideas that you have not even thought of. This new contact can quickly become a vital friend, which can alternately lead to new career options that you may not have considered.
When at a networking event, it is often a good idea to bring a buddy. This will take some of the edge off as you will know at least one person at the event. This is what networking is really all about, helping each other out? The more people that you know, the more likely it is that people will know you and that is really the core of networking, getting your name out there so that you can better yourself in your career.
Networking can be fun. When choosing events, choose the ones that relate directly with your industry so that you know you will have at least one thing in common with the people in attendance. Another option is to host your own event. Have each of your friends bring one of their friends that you do not know. This will provide you with a larger group of friends from a fun event that you have control over.