Networking for the nervous

How many times have you heard (or read) someone telling you that the secret of career success is networking? And how many times have you thought ‘that’s not for me’ or ‘I don’t know where to start’?

Networking is one of those things that can be easier to say than to do. But where you start is where you are.

If you see yourself as a high flyer, with ambitions for a corporate career, you’ve probably already started thinking about what the careers professionals call your ‘personal brand’. If that’s you, this booklet from PwC in the US is a must-read. Personal branding tips, elevator pitch, building relationships, it’s all there. And it’s all good advice.

But if that sounds too intimidating, there are other ways to approach networking. This slideshow from blogger Sacha Chua on ‘The shy connector’ has some great insights for those who are not natural extroverts.

She points out that making an impression is not about pretending to be something you’re not. And successful networking is not about selling yourself: it’s about learning and sharing. Put that way, it becomes much less scary.

Regardless of whether or not it lands you your first job, networking is an important life skill. Try taking some small steps now – and see where they lead you.

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