Power Networking Blog

How "professional" should I be when networking with other professionals?

The term ‘professional’ is nebulous at best. What may be considered professional in one profession may not in another.

First tip, don’t collect business cards.

A collection of business cards takes up room and doesn’t serve a purpose. Think quality over quantity.

You ask a short simple question that requires a complex answer to do it justice.

It’s far too easy for people that don’t experience being shy and quiet to say ‘just stop doing it.’

Life doesn’t work that way.

How can I network if I'm shy?Well, the good news, if there is any, is that you are not alone. I don’t know where in the world you are located but the Shyness Institute, located in the USA, reports that more than 50% of North Americans describe themselves as being shy in social situations.

You would think that with all this social media and on-line connectedness, we would be becoming more social and less shy, but the opposite is true. This collective increase in our shyness has been attributed to several causes.

Friday, 16 December 2016 07:54

What kind of shy am I?

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Shyness doesn’t come in ‘kinds.’ It can however, be placed on a continuum. On one end of the continuum you would have a person who is painfully shy in all situations. At the other end of the continuum you would have someone who is moderately shy in social situations. They don’t like socializing but they do it anyways. They don’t let it control their lives.

Shyness is merely a lack of social skills, which in turn creates tension i.e. stress in the individual.

Friday, 05 August 2016 07:41

How do I Overcome Social Anxiety?

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How do I Overcome Social Anxiety?Calling it ‘social anxiety’ is great for mental health clinicians. We’ve always known it as shyness.

Shyness is a learned behaviour. We are conditioned to be shy by our circumstances in life. We aren’t born with it. Experiences that have been unpleasant to us have a way of repeating themselves when we least expect it. Odds are, that when we respond with shyness in a social situation, we wouldn’t recognize that our response is conditioned or a reflex related to the original incident. Our conscious mind won’t give us access to that memory. Yet we respond almost in the exact same way as we originally did.

There likely isn’t a definitive answer to this question.

Each and everyone of us is different. While there are difficulties that many networkers face, it isn’t universal.

There is likely a lot less difference between going for coffee whether you are in academia or business, then you think there is. Your approach should be professional in either instance.

Going for coffee is an opportunity to get to know the other person. The objective is to find if you share common interests and if there is any opportunity to collaborate on a project or serve as a resource for each other. If you were in business, it may lead to a joint venture.

I wouldn’t consider any of your suggestions as ‘best’ approaches to network as a job seeker, including your ‘besides leveraging existing comments’.

Your suggestions are all passive in nature. As a job-seeker, you really do need to get out there and market yourself via business networking i.e. face to face, belly to belly as the saying goes.

Is it important? That depends! It may not be important to everybody.

If you are a ‘go to work’ and ‘keep your nose to the grindstone’ type of person, it may not be. There are many shy introverts that don’t see the value of networking or possess the skills to do so.

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