5 answers

How do you get comfortable networking?

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I need to get a better job and find my way into a career. I have trouble approaching people and selling myself. #network #job #career #sociology #economics

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100% of 6 Pros

5 answers

Lisa’s Answer

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Updated

Hi Hadiyah,

Here’s some ideas/thoughts.

1.  Family and friends, are valuable networking assets. Take opportunities to talk about things they are interested in, what’s happening in their life, exciting things in their career. Take the opportunity to give them info on yourself, things you are involved in, accomplished, goals, etc.

2.  Read the latest news/trends in your field of interest. Equips you with the latest information and relevant content that can be used to start conversations or add into conversations.

3.  Get involved in your community. I find when following my passion/interests, I have an easier time talking with others

4.  Have an elevator speech.

5.  Create a LindedIn profile. Great way to network, plus career resources.

Practice helps improve confidence and knowing your brand. 

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Lane’s Answer

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Hi Hadiyah,

This is a great question and one that many people just getting into business struggle with, but networking is such an important part of getting ahead. I personally hate networking, the unfamiliar environment and small talk with strangers has never been something that I enjoy. I have however, found certain strategies that have helped me to navigate these situations. When I go to a networking event I always go with three topics I know people can relate to and that I can talk for hours about if I needed to. For me I always talk about:
1) My dog - people either have a dog, want a dog or feel very strongly against dogs. Either way it's a great way to start a conversation.
2) Local sports - People either love sports or hate them, either way it's an easy way to start a conversation
3) My Job - Most of the networking events I attend are industry specific, so for me mainly others in the accounting field, we all have immediately have something in common to talk about!

I hope this helps, but most importantly to get great at networking you have to continue to practice!
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Joel’s Answer

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Hi Hadiyah,


I think that is a great question and one that many people are asking. Here are my suggestions:


First of all, I think some conversation starters/topics will depend on the situation itself and the people you are going to talk to. For example, if it is an event exclusively for Business, it will make it easier to talk about topics related to businesses, market trends, recent news stories, etc. If it is a more general recruiting event or job fair, I would suggest the following:



  1. Consider talking about personal things like sports, family, hobbies, even where people are from or grew up (or traveling). You know the answers already and this is a great way to break the ice.
  2. Simply walk up, introduce yourself and shake their hand, and ask what they do. It's always a little easier if you ask a question first, then you can gauge the level of interest in the other person.
  3. If you are at an event with someone else, it's easier to break the ice with more than one person. You both can walk up and introduce yourselves. This way, you will have twice the amount of things to talk about and more topics available.
  4. Concerning specific questions, consider things like "So, have you been to a networking event like this before?" , "Do you work around here?" or "How long have you been in your current role?" are good ways to introduce a conversation.
  5. Again, depending on the situation, you may even want to begin by bringing up something in the news, like "It's incredible to think how much Amazon continues to grow, especially since acquiring WholeFoods. What do you think their next step will be?" This provides a way of engaging the other person in a topic related to business, without having to ask too many personal questions.

Also, don't forget to hand out business cards to ensure you keep in touch!

Joel recommends the following next steps:

  • Talk about semi-personal things (if you feel comfortable) for an easy ice-breaker
  • Simply walk up to someone, shake their hand and ask their name and what they do
  • Attend events with a friend, if possible. This makes you feel less nervous and will guarantee you have someone to talk to initially
  • Bring up topics related to business, news, etc. as an ice-breaker
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Sheryl’s Answer

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Get involved! Find at least one (in person, not online) group to join that interests you. You could join a professional group related to your career (or your planned career), a service organization devoted to helping others, or you may want to join something more casual like a book club or a dance group. Attend meetings and volunteer for positions within the group. You will form relationships and build your network exponentially with very little effort.

Sheryl recommends the following next steps:

  • Use MeetUp to find local groups to join.
  • Ask friends or colleagues if they are part of an organization and ask lots of questions, such as "Why did you join?" "What do you gain from being a member?" "What do you like most about being a member?" "In what ways to you participate?" "Why do you continue to maintain your membership?"
  • Read a book (or books) on small talk. There are many options out there that will help you start conversations and learn new things along your networking journey.
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Mohit’s Answer

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First thing is read & learn as much as possible. You're really good at something then whosoever you'll work for will recognise your value & they even refer you to other friends & companies. you really don't have to sell yourself. your work can do that for you :)
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