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If you're anything like me, the thought of talking to a complete stranger is a horror akin to waking up covered in spiders. I'm an introvert by nature, and making an effort to meet new people is definitely high on my list of stressful situations.
It is a vital part of gathering contacts and making job connections, though, which you will probably use for the rest of your life. So, despite the desire to stay safely passive and remain overlooked, the effort needed to overcome a little anxiety is well worth the payoff.
The hardest part of networking is beginning. Overcoming that initial fear is a bit like the first day of school; you don't know them, they don't know you, and first impressions can be paramount. Sure, you can choose to be that shy kid who never talks to anyone and sits in the back of the classroom, horrified when you're called on or any attention is directed towards you, but what good would that do you in the long run?
If you choose this route of thinking, you won't have to face the anxiety and stress that goes along with meeting new people, but you'll also miss out on a score of potential business opportunities. You're also missing opportunities to make good friends and share new, interesting experiences.
So, where should you start?
Start with what you know: Do you enjoy 3D animation? Join a user group! Like hockey? Join a hockey team! You get the idea, right? Starting with your interests is a good, less intimidating, way to break into networking....
Click here to read the rest of the article at YoungMoney.com.