You’ve done all the preparation for your networking event. Now it’s time to put it to use!
1. Scan the room to see where people tend to be congregating; more often it’s near the food or the drinks.
2. If it’s a smaller event, find the person who invited you. This person may have someone in mind they’d like to introduce you to.
3. Head to the groups of people you’ve scoped out in your scan and join a conversation. It’s perfectly fine to interrupt - take away the formal feeling of the event, and you’ve got networking conversations that are all about interruptions. How else are you going to join in? Just listen for the right time to do so.
4. Move around. Did you come with a goal in mind? Who would you like to meet? Make sure you make your way around the room to build connections. Don’t get caught talking to one or two people for the entire event. You’re there to network!
And if you’re an introvert, don’t shy away from attending networking events. Networking events can sometimes help you land a job. Some tips if you’re the shy kind:
1. Find a conference buddy. Bring a friend in the same field, or find a fellow introvert at the event and plan on going around the event together.
2. Look approachable. Although you may be uncomfortable, try not to let this show with your body language. Uncross your arms, don’t lean against the wall, and by all means, smile!
If all goes well, you may leave the networking event with a contact for an informational interview!
Tell us: Have you had an awkward networking moment?