Tips for People Who Dislike Networking
24 Apr 19 by Jason Bishop
A solid network of professional connections is a valuable asset in the IT industry. But what do you do if you hate networking? Meeting new people can be intimidating, especially in a professional context, so it’s no wonder that some IT candidates find themselves with sweaty palms when faced with this kind of social situation. The good news is that, with the right conditions, anyone can network successfully.
Here are a few tips to help you make new contacts that will boost your IT career, even if networking is not your favourite pastime.
Reframe Your View of Networking
One of our best tips for people who dislike networking is to reframe how you see networking in order to make it less daunting. Networking can sometimes feel like putting yourself out there in front of a stranger and asking for a favour. However, the most useful professional connections are those of mutual benefit to both parties.
Rather than viewing it as a one-sided encounter, focus on the value you can add to the other person. Even if it’s just acting as a sounding board that they can bounce ideas off, you have something to offer. Remembering this will help you feel more confident and view networking as a two-way partnership.
Adapt Your Approach
Whilst formal networking events and large tech conferences are great places to find new contacts in the IT industry, don’t feel pressured to step out into a setting that intimidates you. When it comes to networking tips for introverts, we often advise our candidates to adapt their approach and find environments where they can put their best foot forward. Whether it’s a casual chat over coffee or discussing innovation with a peer at a tech expo – identifying situations where you feel comfortable will help to set you up for networking success.
Similarly, if the idea of meeting other IT professionals alone makes you anxious, consider bringing along a friend or colleague (where appropriate) who can help you strike up a conversation and then bow out when you get more confident.
Find a Point of Connection
At the end of the day, networking is about finding something in common. During every interaction, look out for topics or issues around which you have shared interests. You’ll be surprised how simply saying “I feel the same way” can quickly establish a connection and give you a topic for further conversation.
This helps you to see the acquaintance as a person, not just a contact, and makes it easier to build a valuable long-term relationship. Keep in mind that the people you meet are in the same situation as you, and have similar interests in your industry, which can help calm your nerves and avoid feeling too overwhelmed to strike up a conversion.
Networking may not be enjoyable for everyone, but it doesn’t need to be a dreaded task, either. By finding ways to play to your strengths, changing your approach to suit your needs and being understanding with yourself, you can successfully build professional connections that will go a long way toward growing your IT career.
For more professional networking tips or support with your search for IT jobs in Christchurch, get in touch with the team at Sourced.