People are surprised to learn I don’t naturally enjoy networking. I am by nature introverted which doesn’t lend well to mingling in large unfamiliar groups. Over the course of time, I have gotten better at meeting strangers, but it has always felt forced and awkward. I have discovered, I am not alone in feeling this way.
When faced with such situations I strategically attach myself to someone who thrives in large groups of strangers. I follow them around feeding on the crumbs surrounding their wake. While this does help me meet people, I feel like a parasite and it only slightly reduces my anxiety.
Not wanting to be a parasite any longer, I have decided to try a new approach. I like connecting people and enjoy inviting people to events. So in an effort to help myself and others I am running an experiment by hosting my own networking event. I am hoping others will enjoy meeting in a slightly unusual environment and feel comfortable inviting others.
So if you find yourself looking for a fun way to fill a couple of hours every couple of months then join me by exploring Portland Dive Bars and maybe we’ll meet interesting people along the way.
What have you learned about networking? What advice do you have for others who feel like me?