Going in with a plan makes networking events less painful. Ok, maybe they’re just painful for me. As an introvert, it is sheer torture to be stuck in a crowded room full of people shouting to make small talk.
I always felt a bit awkward trying to introduce myself to strangers and make small talk. Standing silently, a drink in hand, in a cluster around a couple of extroverts going to town with their stories.
I eventually would retire to a dark corner to stand by myself and watch the room, wondering why I was even there.
I can’t remember a single time that a traditional networking event ever generated a new opportunity for me. No new jobs. No new clients. No new partners. Not once in my 26-year Tech career.
Derek Coburn talks about a similar realization in his book, “Networking is Not Working.”
“Like most professionals, I thought the best way to grown my business was to network. And the primary way to do that was to attend networking events… I did have the reasonable expectation, I thought,…