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Success tips for reluctant networkers
If you hate face-to-face networking, you're not
alone. If the top-of-the-list most-feared activity
is speaking in front of people, how can launching
a conversation with a stranger be far behind?
Networking with strangers can be lively and fun,
or it can be a shoot-me-now experience. Here are
some tips for easing the strain.
If you're thinking of attending a face-to-face net-
working event and you're nervous about it, pick an
event with content - a speaker or a panel. That way,
you won't be forced to spend several hours networking
without a net.
If you aren't a natural networker, you can prefer
to attend events that feature structured networking
of some kind. Structured networking activities or-
ganize the conversation so that attendees don't have
to find their own conversation-mates and begin and
end conversations organically - the event host sets
up a networking activity that makes the conversation
Bring a Friend
If you don't enjoy conversation with people you
don't know, bring a friend (or two) to networking
events with you. I perform this service for my friends
all the time, and bringing a reluctant networker to an
event with me raises my fun-quotient for the evening,
as well as my friend's, because we can take a break
and compare notes on the networking, the people
and the food whenever we like.
For most of us, the least appealing networking sit-
uation is the one where we find ourselves in a room
full of total strangers, who all seem to know and be
cozy with one another. If you bring a friend with you,
you'll never be the only newbie in the room.
If you want to do some networking but don't want to
be overwhelmed, arrive when the networking portion
of the event is halfway done. People will be chatting
away, and you (and your friend) can join in a group
conversation knowing that in twenty minutes, the
speaker presentation will begin.
There's no rule that says that once you've paid your
registration fee, you have to attend the whole event. Make
sure, of course, that you don't walk into the room in the
middle of a speaker presentation or otherwise disrupt
the meeting. That's one unfortunate way to be noticed!
Go for the Wallflower
For people who don't like breaking into groups of
avid talkers, my suggestion is to approach the most
forlorn and lonely-looking person in the room, the
person standing by him- or herself
when you enter. That person may be
a reluctant networker, too, and will
undoubtedly be happy to have some-
one to talk to. Don't put pressure on
yourself to have X number of conver-
sations or to collect a certain quantity
of business cards. Fewer, richer con-
versations are better than lots of quick
and forgettable ones.
Not sure how to start a conversation?
Think of your conversation-starter
as a friendly, informal interview. "So,
what brings you here this evening?"
is pleasant. Keep your focus on your
conversation partner, and additional
questions will easily spring to mind.
"Are you originally from here?" If you
hate the dreaded "So, what do you do
in your work?" you can spend half an
hour learning about your acquaint-
ance's life history, interests outside of
work, favourite places to travel, and so
much more. If a conversational spark
develops, you can follow it wherever it
leads. Don't feel that you have to stick
to business topics - they tend to be the
most boring ones!
"Spitting" in conversation is shoving
your elevator pitch in a person's face -
don't do it! Let your conversation-mate
ask you questions about your business
if he or she wants to.
A Bumper Sticker is a good thing to
have - it's a one-liner that succinct-
ly shares what you do without going
into detail. "I design and manage large
product databases for consumer-pack-
aged-goods companies" is a bumper
sticker. A self-description that takes
15 or 30 or 45 seconds is way too long,
and unsuitable for one person to deliver
to another person in the normal flow
of human conversation.
In the same vein as interviewing (tip
5) our new acquaintances, asking them
questions about themselves and their interests is a
great way to learn new things and to build rapport.
If you don't know a thing about metallurgy, don't be
afraid to ask 'stupid' questions of the metallurgist
standing next to you at the canape bar. People are
normally happy to share what they know.
Asking questions of new acquaintances is my
hands-down favourite way to get to know them. "I'm
afraid I don't know a thing about [your profession] -
can you tell me how it works?" is a great all-purpose
question when you're out of your depth.
Always end a conversation by thanking a person for
his or her time, and expressing your admiration for
the person. "I'm so glad I got to meet you - it's been
lovely to learn about you!" is a pleasant way to part.
If you feel like asking for a business card, by all
means do it, but don't ask for it if you don't want it
and plan to throw it away the minute you get a chance.
Likewise, don't offer your business card to everyone
you meet, just because it's a networking meeting.
If you seek further interaction, ask "Do you ever
like to have coffee, or lunch?" rather than making a
specific invitation. It is easy for a not-terribly-in-
terested person to reply "My travel schedule makes it
really difficult" thereby letting you know that you're
barking up the wrong networking tree.
We believe that every patient deserves the very
best care possible. Our Mission is to provide
excellent eye care services for all people
regardless of their socioeconomic status.
The prospective candidate will possess suitable
Post Graduate qualifcation in Ophthalmology
and must be registered with the Medical Board
of Trinidad & Tobago
The prospective candidate will possess a BSc
Optometry duly accredited by the ACTT.
Apply if you are:
• Driven by a mission to help others
• A lifelong learner
• Willing to work long hours
• Able to manage multiple tasks
• Well organized
Apply to TrinidadEyeHospital@outlook.com
no later than 2017 June 30th.
A well established company in the
south land is in the process of
Well Control Equipment
The Well Control Specialist is responsible for op-
erating and maintaining well control and drilling
load path equipment. The Well Control Special-
ist coordinates with the Drilling and Maintenance
Departments during operations. He/She is re-
quired to take leadership role regarding Manage-
The Well Control Equipment Specialist is re-
quired to have:
• Six years offshore experience including two
years as an Assistant Subsea or equivalent well
control equipment experience
• Subsea related program experience
• Fluent English communication skills being both
written and oral
• UKOOA Medical
• First Aid/CPR
• Basic Marine Fire Fighting
• Lifeboat Simulator Training
• MI AB/Lifeboat MOU
• Safety Leadership Training
• Supervisory IADC or IWCF Well Control
NO LATER THAN June 29th 2017 for the
Applicants are also required to submit a copy
Ministry of Labour & Small and Micro
Port of Spain.
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