That’s ok. Some people don’t!

If you’ve tried a few networking events and you just don’t like it, don’t worry, no-one likes everything! And being out there having to speak with different people about different things simply isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But if you’re in a position where you have to network as part of your job/business, what can you do?

First of all, be honest – and let others know that. Maybe some of your contacts feel exactly the same way and can offer some understanding and guidance.

And what is it that you don’t like – joining conversations? Leaving conversations? Speaking with strangers? Or that awkward silence that sometimes happens?? If you can identify what you’re most concerned with, then you can ask others what’s helped them. Good, experienced networkers will always be happy to offer their feedback.

And choose your formats wisely. For example, if a networking organisation or format regularly receives feedback for friendly, informal events, and that type of networking appeals to you, that’s where to head for. Or if you’d rather go to structured events that don’t leave you having to start or join conversations, check them out instead.

Finally, try to remember that when you break it down, networking is just chatting with other people, talking and listening. And you already do that in work and life!