Networking is so important to career advancement but it can be terrifying when you are an introvert.  The last thing you want to do is go into a group of people and have to talk and socialize.  Isn’t there a way around it?

Well, unfortunately, no there is not, but there is a way to make it better.

Here are some tips  to help you not only get through networking but to actually enjoy it.

First, you need to realize that networking is about creating relationships.  You need to focus on building long term, strategic relationships of all types.

You don’t need to join a ton of groups and be constantly networking.  The best plan of action is to try out a few groups, find one or two that really resonate with you and commit to that.  The best results will happen from meeting people in person and getting to know them.

Did you know that 88 percent of people feel shy chatting with strangers or in a group?  You are not alone!  You just need to make a few mindset shifts in order to get past that nervous energy you have.  Want to know a secret?  Pretend you are hosting a party.

Let me explain a bit more.

If you are having a gathering at your home you are in control right?  You know who is invited but you don’t always know their plus one.  Well you don’t ignore the plus one right?  You introduce yourself and make them feel welcome.  Same thing applies here.

Hold out your hand for a handshake, introduce yourself and ask about them.  Ask their name and how they became part of the group.  Asking questions gets them talking and interacting with you and takes the pressure off you.  Then they will most likely turn the tables and ask about you but you will be past the nervous energy because you are already having a friendly conversation.

If you really have a connection with that person you can then take it outside the event and have a one on one conversation to learn more about them and continue to build that new relationship.

If you have questions or would like to learn how to make mindset shifts so you have more fun with networking just reach out and let’s chat.