Wired Wisdom
3 min readJan 4, 2024

“I love networking and making small talk with strangers”, said almost no one ever. While there are people who thrive on networking, most of us find it to be awkward or intimidating. Some might even think it borders on being exploitative or fake.

But in today’s professional world, a rich and diverse network is one of the biggest advantages you can have. It can lead to bigger and better opportunities, broader and deeper knowledge, increased job satisfaction and quicker career advancement.

According to a survey by Lou Adler, CEO at Performance-based Hiring Learning Systems, 85% of all jobs fill via networking. As the phrase goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know!”

So, networking is an essential skill when it comes to professional success. How can you improve your networking skills irrespective of your aversion to it? Here are a few strategies.

I. Mindset shift

You can’t change yourself from an introvert to an extrovert, but you can change your mindset about networking. Instead of viewing it as an obligation or chore, focus on the growth, advancement and accomplishments that networking can bring. This makes networking less frightening, allowing you to be your best self. Remember, the right mindset is half the battle.

II. Look for islands

Even with the right mindset, walking into a room full of strangers and striking up a conversation can be intimidating. This can be overcome by realizing that even a full room divides up into little islands or small groups of people during…