I haven’t had a strategy for professional networking, as I am terrified of it. I am not a social person, and I find interacting with people I do not know well exhausting and daunting. I have avoided it at all costs. I recently attended a course that my workplace asked me to go to the local construction association. I gladly obliged since I am all for furthering my career with education, but I didn’t think of it as a networking opportunity. When the two-day course ended, I bolted for the door, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to get out of there with as little human interaction as possible. I only realized when I was abruptly halted at the door by a fellow classmate that wanted to chit chat with me about nonsense that she was networking. It was probably in my best interest to do the same; however, after my short conversation with her, I left. Needless to say, I need to step out of my shell a little more and start networking. Had that same woman hit me up on email or LinkedIn, I would have been more than happy to strict up a conversation with her, online I feel I can be more authentic and genuine to myself.
In the coming months, I plan to professionally network in two areas, my day job as an Administrative Assistant and my side gig as an Etsy Shop owner. Some ways I plan to network for my day job are to get out into the community and talk with the locals, being in charge of social media for the company can allow me to do this effortlessly. For my side hustle, I plan to attend craft shows and network with the local customers and other homegrown business owners, I also plan on commenting on more blogs to get myself out there and see if there are any local conferences for local small business owners.