Networking can be scary. Whether you’re on your first networking event or your hundredth, meeting, mixing, and mingling can spark a certain anxiety. While we all know that building connections is one of the most important tasks in professional life, putting yourself out there can be tough.
If you’re somebody that suffers from anxiety, the experience becomes even more difficult. Between new faces, new conversations, and new environments, networking events can seem overwhelming and intimidating.
No worries! If you’re someone who doesn’t *love* networking but still wants to build connections, there are plenty of tricks that can help you feel comfortable, confident, and excited about networking!
Some self-care is one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for success at a networking event. A new shirt or shoes that you feel great in, a luxurious bath, or simply some relaxing time alone can all help boost your self-confidence! Jot down your best skills and traits or talk to someone who makes you feel empowered.
One of the hardest parts of networking is that it can sometimes feel like you’re trying to “sell yourself.” Try approaching a networking event with the idea that you are there to help other people. When you switch your focus to empowering and uplifting others, it reflects positively on your brand and makes you stick in the minds of those you meet!
Feeling prepared for a networking event can do wonders to boost your confidence and put you at ease. Lay out exactly what you want to wear, gather any marketing materials you want to bring, and practice your brand statement and elevator speech. It may sound silly, but even practicing how you are going to introduce yourself can make you feel like you have the situation under control when it comes time to spark up a conversation with another professional.
Goals & Rewards
Set a goal for yourself – it doesn’t have to be big. Maybe you want to collect a certain number of cards or contacts. Maybe you want to make one or two truly genuine, productive connections. Having a goal can help keep you focused and motivated while networking. Make sure you reward yourself when you achieve it!