Networking: Overcome Your Shyness
Networking is an essential business practice and is
recognized as a common buzzword in every career field imaginable. But what is
it, exactly? And how can you put this practice to work for you, especially if
you’re shy or don’t feel surrounded by anything you would readily call
Networking can be defined as follows: The act of engaging
socially with colleagues and associates in an effort to expand one’s career
opportunities. The principle behind the practice is simple. We’re willing to do
more for people we know. Those who know you socially will be inclined to help
you when they can, and vice versa.
The art of effective networking lies in two words: Courage
and energy. To network successfully, you must find ways to banish (or
temporarily overcome) shyness and hesitancy. Though it sometimes seems
counterintuitive, it’s important to remember that most people enjoy being
approached. Even when people are busy, they’re almost
always flattered to be contacted, interviewed or asked for help.
As for energy, it’s a good idea to recognize that hidden
connections are lying all around you. Every conversation can lead to unexpected
benefits. Ergo, more conversations equal more opportunities.
While searching for networking outlets, don’t neglect the
digital landscape. It may seem awkward to post an update on Facebook announcing
your unemployed status to the world, but getting over your hesitancy may be the
smartest move you ever make. A single sentence or two (Does anyone have
contacts in the horticulture field? I need a job!) may offer a surprisingly
fast route to a new position or valuable new contact.