Even the most gregarious person can sometimes get nervous when it comes to networking. Walking into a room full of strangers to help further your career isn’t the rockin’ Thursday night plans college-you envisioned having, is it?

Regardless of whether or not you enjoy these forced social gatherings, they are important if you want to get ahead at work. And if you’re an introvert – a person who finds social situations exhausting – there are ways to help you gain more confidence when talking to people at a networking event.

Here are some networking tips to help introverts:

Prepare

Just like for a job interview, it’s helpful to have a few key points, topics, questions and answers ready to go. Sure you can talk about industry news, but you can also have other conversations with people – Can you believe the [insert local sports team] game last week? And unless you’re in politics or are a minister, stay away from politics and religion.

Make Yourself Comfortable

As long as it doesn’t have something inappropriate on it, wear your favorite shirt. If the situation calls for it, wear that tie that makes your eyes pop. If you feel good about how you look, you’ll be more confident.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you’re running late, this will just lead to more stress, which will lead to feeling (and possibly looking) frazzled. This is not the way to make a first impression. Plan ahead, make sure you leave plenty of travel time. You don’t want to introduce yourself to someone with sweaty palms and your heart beating a mile a minute.

Be Yourself

Remember Al Franken’s SNL character, Stuart Smalley? If it helps, look in the mirror and say I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me. Because you are and they do. Just try to relax and be yourself.

For more networking tips or help with your job search, contact a local staffing agency. If you’re in Dallas-Fort Worth and looking for an IT position, give us a call at Maxsys Solutions.

image credit