How To Make Networking Much Less Painful

If it ever seems like networking events are awkward, it’s not just you. All entrepreneurs struggle with networking at some point. The question becomes on how can you make it easier since it’s such a valuable person about growing yourself and your career.

What happens at a networking event? People grow their businesses, make life-changing connections and meet vital influencers. Almost 70% of jobs are found through networking. But sometimes, this just isn’t motivation enough. For those who don’t love spending our free time meeting and attempting to impress crowds of new people, the whole thing can feel a bit frustrating.

The problem is that networking really is essential to the success of your career. With a great network, you’ll hear about job leads or opportunities you’d otherwise miss. You’ll be more successful in your job because you can tap into the collective knowledge and put yourself in front of many more opportunities.

If you hate networking but you know you need to, here are ways on how to make networking much less painful:

1. Come Ready With Topics To Discuss

Be prepared to talk about all sorts of different subject matters. You never know who you’re going to run into or strike up a conversation with. Don’t be afraid to share about your interests and what you do for fun along with asking others the same questions.

2. Focus Less On “Networking” And More On Building Relationships

If you hate networking, it may be because you don’t want to feel as if you are only in it for what you can get from someone. The truth is that good networking isn’t about racking up a number of business cards you dish out, but rather it’s about building relationships. If some of these relationships turn into great friendships, that’s wonderful. When you think about networking, remember that not every meeting needs to have a goal. The important thing is to establish or refresh a connection.

3. Get The Conversation Started With Some Easy Openers

If you’re going into an event blind or without any shared interests to bring up, start a convo with a “content compliment” to keep things professional and show them you’re knowledgeable about the industry. If you can’t come up with something about their accomplishments, go for the basics by staying up to date on industry news or pop culture. If someone’s wearing a great color, necklace or shoes, compliment them. It immediately makes the other person feel good about themselves and opens you up for a conversation.

4. Think Outside The Networking Event

Remember, not all networking has to happen at cocktail hour types of events. In fact, some of the most interesting relationship-building can happen elsewhere. See if there’s a conference you can attend, a hackathon you can participate in, or even a project you can help with. These sorts of events will put you in a much more collaborative environment that will allow you to get to know people in a different way than by simply drilling them with questions.

5. Put The “Social” In Social Media

Social media can be the quiet person’s best friend, especially when it comes to networking. You have the ability to get access to hiring managers, HR folks, and even CEOs at the touch of a button. Reach out to people you find interesting and ask to hear about them. The social world allows you to craft intelligent, thoughtful, and engaging messages to these people without all the stress that may come with face-to-face interactions. What may start as a request to connect can lead to much more meaningful dialogue if you ask the right questions. By the time you’re ready to connect in person, that person could feel like an old friend.

6. Offer Help To Others

One way to get over the feeling of being a networking parasite is to try to give more than you get. When you email or message your network, try to send them something you think they might enjoy—a link to an article, the name of a great book, or some news you heard. It doesn’t have to be big or profound. It will still make a big impact.

7. Reconnect with Former Colleagues

Reconnecting with former teammates, classmates, trainers, and professors is an easy way to build your network. After all, these are people who know your abilities and may be willing to recommend you to members of their network.

If you’ve lost touch, take a minute to run through their social-networking profile, or search for them online. Reach out via email first to congratulate them on a new job, winning a hackathon or another achievement. Once you’ve re-engaged, extend an invitation to connect, endorse their skills and stay in touch.

8. Bring A Wing-Person

There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to go to these events alone. It’s nerve-wracking and understandable you’d want someone you know there. While it’s nice to have someone by your side, make sure you break apart and do some of your own networking too. Knowing there’s a person who you trust in the room will be reassurance enough that you’re going to be okay. This will also come in handy if the event is lame or boring, so you have someone to talk to and enjoy your time with.


It is so important to get out and meet people because it only takes one connection to change your life. A vibrant network means a vibrant business and life. In this post, I shared with you the ways on how to make networking much less painful.

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