Networking is not just important, it’s absolutely necessary. In whatever stage of the game you are—whether you own a company or you’re working for someone else—networking with other individuals is essential because you never know who can help you move up or help you move on.
Here are my suggestions:
- Get over being intimidated. Leaving your comfort zone is never easy, but you can practice at home by role-playing what you’ll say when you meet people. Get your elevator pitch down.
- Go with a friend. If you know someone who’s really involved in a group or organization, tag along. She’ll be sure to introduce you to her circle.
- Always be on the lookout for networking opportunities. It might happen the next time you’re in the cafeteria. Introduce yourself to that person from another department—the one you see occasionally—but neither of you ever speak.
- And don’t fret; it gets easier!