Networking and Wallflower-itis

Social Networking is difficult.

Well it is for me.

Back in the mists of time – before I even knew that Environments Management was A Thing – I worked as a Website and Brand Designer (yes… I have a Arts degree…don’t bother asking how I got here – its very convoluted). I did this as a job for just over 3 years. One of my responsibilities was to go out to new clients and pitch, and I’ll be honest, this experience pretty much put me off direct networking. I have always found online networking far easier to get to grips with.

I am perpetually envious of those people that seem to be able to join in with small talk and instigate conversations effortlessly without it feeling forced. I have a tendency to turn into a complete wallflower at social events with people that I do not know.

So what is the point of today’s ramble?

Today was my turn to run our monthly practice meeting and the topic I chose was Social Networking. We have some amazing people at work who just seem to go out there and get involved – and I was (as were a number of others)  interested in just how they do it. Both speakers gave some amazing advice on how they got started and what they get involved in within their respective IT communities.

My main takeaway from the event, was that to get the most out of the IT profession you need to do that most un-geeklike of things; talk to actual people. Online networking and fact-finding has its place -indeed it’s a goldmine of information if you know where to look – but sharing a beer and pizza with a group of like-minded individuals can lead to insights and ideas that people just don’t always write about.

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