Some people find networking awkward. Let's examine two ways of looking at networking.
Option A - You walk into the room full of strangers with the express purpose of making contacts that can help you move along in your career.
Is that how you see it? Let’s try again.
Option B - You walk into a room full of strangers armed with full knowledge of yourself, your skills, your interests and how you might be helpful to others with a need.
A switch to Option B accomplishes a few things:
1. We are forced to know ourselves – skills, abilities, interests…
2. We build confidence, and learn to communicate our worth.
3. The focus changes to others rather than ourselves. This alleviates some of the awkwardness and pressure inherent in a networking event.
4. We become helpful and feel good about ourselves, building our self-esteem.
5. In the end, we help others and build relationships. Now we have genuine networking contacts who may feel more compelled to help.
What is your net worth? What are your interests? What are your skills? What makes you special? How can you communicate this? How can you get involved to help others?
Do this on a regular basis so that it becomes a habit and you build a group of trusted associates. This will help you in future job searches. Moreover, since not all jobs are posted on job boards, this could help you uncover hidden opportunities.
Note: When I finished this short post, I Googled to see if anyone else had ever utilized the term “networthing.” The term has been coined, and a book has already been published.