It’s always a good time for a reminder of the importance of extending ourselves in order to meet job success – literally. Jason Jacobsohn at Networking Insight recently suggested that networkers who dread a room full of strangers change their mindsets to take full advantage of the potentially beneficial contacts before them. He suggests the following mindsets (commentary my own):
Mindset 1: Room Full of Opportunity
Remember, all it takes is one great contact to get you on the way to where you want to go. If there is a room of people, every “Hello, my name is…” could turn into a possibility. You may meet your next employer, business partner or spouse. All you need to do is walk inside and introduce yourself. No one is going to bite you. Just do it!
Mindset 2: Channel Fear into Energy
How many people do you know who LOVE to “work a room?” Probably not many. Most of us (even extroverts) don’t jump for joy at the idea of a room full of strangers. A little nervous energy could be a good thing. Don’t let fear paralyze your chances for job search success.
Mindset 3: Speaking Practice
If you’ve developed and practiced your elevator pitch, there’s no better place to use it than a room full of potential contacts. This is just the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!
Mindset 4: Posture Practice
Jacobsohn reminds us to have good posture, a firm handshake, smiles and strong eye contact.
Mindset 5: Learning Opportunity
It is nice to sell yourself, but remember that you have a great opportunity to learn about other people in networking situations. Think about how you can help them before trying to figure out what they can do for you. You don’t know enough to know what it is you don’t know. (Trust me…This is true.)
Networking is a way to open those doors. I’ve written about the importance of speaking to people you think can’t help you. One way to break the ice in a networking situation is to find someone whom you are pretty sure isn’t a great contact. Approach them, introduce yourself and try out your elevator pitch. You’ll get great practice and you may be surprised to learn how the “cold lead” may become your best networking ally.