Networking events are one of the hot themes that everyone is telling you to participate in. To go to a restaurant or bar, with people from your chamber of commerce or from your industry or you have like interests, and basically hang out together.
For the extrovert, this type of event is easy. They make conversation quickly. For the introvert, it is harder. What do I say? How do I keep a conversation going? For many, it is a targeted event where they want to meet person A or person B.
What is interesting about networking is that it is a random event that we have chosen to participate in. We can never be quite sure who we are going to meet or if we will ever get to see person A or B. I have learned over time that random events can be the most valuable experiences that I can have.
Everyone has something to offer. Some more than others, but nonetheless everyone has something to offer. We might learn about someone’s passion for the outdoors. Not relevant to us professionally but the chance to learn about that topic might help you down the road.
Other times you might be introduced to a person that you did not know existed and that has the experience or skills that you are looking for help in. They may run a big company and you run a small one. They have skydived 100 times and you want to try it.
A few times I have been disappointed with a networking event. It happens. But trying to continually expose yourself to random events will eventually lead to some new learning. Some new awareness.
Not everything has to be planned to be helpful. Take more chances by putting yourself in a position to meet more people and learn different things. Random events can be extremely helpful if you have an open mind.