Networking is easier for some rather than others.
For a lot of people, the idea of meeting a complete stranger for coffee to talk about your career is just as intimidating as meeting someone for a first date. However, regardless of how scary it is, everyone should take advantage of networking.
Networking can be especially intimidating if you’re an introvert, so we decided to put together some tips to help.
Have talking points and questions prepared
This applies to everyone, but even more so to introverts. Make sure you and the person you are meeting have a clear idea of what the meeting’s objective is. What do you want to get our of the meeting? What do you want to know about their career or the industry?
Practice with a friend
Once you know what your talking points are, practice asking those questions with a friend. They can tell you if your questions make sense, or if they need to be revised. Become comfortable with the topics you wish to discuss. It will make the experience much easier.
Ask to meet in a place you are familiar with
If you’re putting yourself in an uncomfortable position, you will feel more at ease if you’re in a spot you know. A favourite coffee shop, for instance. If the person you are meeting with suggested an unfamiliar place, try going to the location the day before and enjoy a coffee by yourself. The more you feel at home, the easier it will be to talk.
Know your strengths
At the beginning of most networking meetings, the person will likely ask you about yourself, your aspirations, and your achievements. They will ask this so they can help you better, but make sure you highlight your strengths. This isn’t a job interview, but it is always good to impress someone and leave a positive impression.
Dress for success
How you look is important when networking – think of this as a business meeting, by dressing professionally you will feel more confident and be taken more seriously. When you look good, you feel good. You can also increase your confidence by using your power pose before the meeting!
At the end of the day, go out there and show them what you got. You will do fine. Just believe in yourself!
Ready to head out and network for the first time? Check out these networking tips that are great for anyone to use.
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