How to Get Comfortable with Networking

Blog - July 29In just over a year of being with Plan A Health Care Staffing Solutions, first as a Recruiter and then as Recruitment Manager, I learned many things. I learned the importance of having a sense of urgency for everything, no matter how small. I learned that if my gut is telling me no, say no. I learned the importance of teamwork and how crucial it is to any organization that all members of the team understand the meaning and importance of teamwork. But what I think I learned about the most, and what I think has proven to be most beneficial to me, is networking.

While working with Plan A I was constantly encouraged to push myself outside of my comfort zone by taking on tasks that I was not familiar with and putting myself into situations that made my stomach do flips and turns. Now why would I say being put into situations like THAT has been most beneficial for me? Since starting in my role as a Solution Sales Specialist with StaffStat, I notice that I feel comfortable. I’m comfortable speaking to people that I don’t know about the product, both over the phone and face to face. Now ask me how I would’ve felt about that at this time last year…

I would’ve said, ‘No’. I would’ve turned down an AMAZING opportunity with an AMAZING company where I get to work alongside AMAZING women each day. Thankfully, my experience with networking over the last year has made the transition much easier. Although getting used to networking wasn’t easy, I’d like to share with you a few tips that I have picked up along my journey to help make your journey a bit smoother:

  • Listen and Learn. There’s no better way to learn than to listen to someone with experience who knows what they’re doing. When I first started attending networking events after hours with the Plan A crew, I voiced that I wasn’t quite comfortable with the whole situation just yet, and they promised that it would come with time. And it did. For the first few times attending the events, I watched everything and listened to everyone. The women that I work with are experienced and they know what they’re doing so I would listen to them. I would take in their conversation starters and the tactics they used to avoid the oh-so-scary ‘awkward silence’.
  • Be Patient. Just like anything else, getting to be ‘good’ at networking takes time. You aren’t going to be one hundred percent comfortable with it right away, and that’s okay. Like I said, it’s taken me almost a year to get to my ‘comfort zone’ when it comes to networking.
  • PUSH YOURSELF. I’m the type of person that will shy away from things I don’t enjoy doing or things that don’t seem like fun to me. I also shy away from putting myself into situations that I know will make me feel uncomfortable, shy or awkward. But you will NEVER get used to feeling or get over the fear of it unless you push yourself to face it.

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