People often associate networking with feelings of anxiety and awkwardness. However, networking doesn't have to be so intimidating! Instead, networking should be thought of as an opportunity to build a supportive community with people whom you share interests.
Idealist recently posted a list of 20 ways to network that don’t feel like networking. Here are a few suggestions from this list (click on the link for the full list):
- Go on an informational interview.
- Ask for an introduction from your family and friends.
- Attend a conference or workshop related to your career or interests.
- Join a club: Check out Meetup to see a list of clubs in your area, or start a new one!
- Volunteer with an organization that is meaningful to you to meet people who share your passion.
- Reach out to your alumni group.
Also, it's important to remember that networking should be a long-term, mutual relationship in order to truly grow. To nurture the connections that you have already made try hosting a party, sharing a resource, or making a recommendation on LinkedIn.