When you hear the word ‘networking’, what is your initial reaction? Do you feel troubled or worried? Concerns about networking are very common. It’s tempting to stall or avoid it altogether. It can feel physically and emotionally distressing. Each of us has an internal dialog that fills us with worry, it’s our psyche that little voice inside of us that wants to keep us safe and avoid anything uncomfortable.
We falsely believe others will not carve out time for us or will not like us. Below are common concerns that you may think are true but after 15+ years of professional coaching, I’ve included what is actually true.
“These people are busy.”
Yes, everyone is busy these days. But you will find people who want to speak with you and who will make the time. Start by contacting one of your leads you feel may have a higher likelihood of helping you.
“I don’t want to bother them.”
Many professionals are willing to help because they have been in your shoes. They understand the importance of moving out of a transition stage into a fulfilling position or career—because they’ve done it themselves.
“They will see that I am nervous.”
Everyone gets nervous now and then, even the individuals you are reaching out to. By creating a short list of talking points and a few questions to ask, you will feel more prepared and have a “script” to fall back on, if you get nervous. If you are someone who likes to rehearse, you can ask your friends and family to help you practice these conversations.
“I don’t want to sound like I am bragging.”
It’s common for people to feel they are bragging when they talk about their own qualities or accomplishments. You are not bragging; you are promoting your skills and strengths to explain your career path or to obtain a new job. Sharing relevant information about yourself will demonstrate curiosity, eagerness, and excitement. As you continue the conversation and learn more about your contact and their company, you might even have an opportunity to share how your skills and strengths could help them achieve their goals.
After reaching out, different contacts will respond to you in different ways. Some won’t respond at all. That’s okay! Pay attention to the responses you receive and invest your time and energy into the contacts who will invest in you.
Remember, many of us feel a bit hesitant about networking. Contacting professionals is not
bothering them. Many people want to help you.
Stay in touch with how your networking journey is going. I’d love to hear from you. Email me at
Keep going. You’ve got this!