Networking. For introverts, the very thought of standing in a room full of strangers (and starting conversations with people you know nothing about) probably doesn’t sound like much fun. But the fact is, in a market like New Zealand, networking can have a significant impact on your career, with so many tech jobs coming up through connections in the industry. While your typical networking format is tailor-made for extroverted personalities, that doesn’t mean introverts can’t thrive in those situations too. If this sort of thing has you running for the exit, check out these four tips – with Techweek22 events happening all week, now’s the perfect time to put yourself out there.
Prep. Prep. Prep.
While extroverts can often talk on the fly without any preparation at all, introverts like to be able to think things over. This is where preparation can really be a lifesaver and help ease any nerves you might have in networking situations. The more you know about the event, the people that are attending , speakers and the venue can do wonders for your confidence walking in. Keep some icebreakers handy too – after all, people LOVE talking about themselves, their work and their hobbies.
Get there early (ish)
Picture this...you arrive a little late to an event only to find a room full of people already deep into conversation. Not exactly an easy situation for some people.
Now, wind back the clock and this time, you’re one of the first people to arrive. You’ll probably meet the organisers and naturally draw the attention of the other few people who have arrived early – a much less stressful way to connect. Not to mention, arriving early gives you the chance to get the lay of the land!
Bring someone else with you
There’s no reason why you have to go it alone, especially if you’re planning on attending an event where you don’t know anyone at all! Bring a friend, a colleague – anyone that can help with introductions, break the ice and keep conversations flowing. But don't rely too much on that person, otherwise you might find yourself breezing through the evening without making any contributions yourself.
You don’t have to impress everyone
This is a big one. Don’t worry about being a social butterfly and meeting each and every person in the room. Even nailing one or two quality connections is much better than wandering around having superficial chats with 20 or 30 people. On top of that, a couple hours of solid networking is enough to leave anyone exhausted, so remember – it's 100% okay to leave the event early if you're not feeling it anymore!
Don’t have any Techweek22 plans yet? We’ve got you covered with four awesome events happening across Auckland and Wellington – check them out here.