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Debrett’s Ask the Expert: How Can I Get Over My Fear of Networking?

In our latest advice column for City AM, the Debrett’s Office Politics Expert advises a networking-phobic:

Q: My role calls for client entertainment – usually dinners with existing clients – but I find I’m more frequently asked to attend networking events on behalf of the firm for new client acquisition. I’m fine speaking to people I know, but these ‘mix and mingle’ events make me feel awkward and overly salesy. What can I do to make these events not only bearable but actually useful to career?

Forget killer clowns, there’s nothing quite as terrifying as a room full of unfamiliar faces. Whether it’s a conference, a drinks reception or a power breakfast, many of us encounter situations in which we’re encouraged to mix with new people for business purposes.

Adding to the pressure, managers often expect employees’ networking efforts to result in new clients or information on a business, giving the firm an advantage over its competitors.

Read more…

Learn about our Networking Skills Course.

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