I recently attended my first ever networking event, where I would meet fellow filmmakers. It's common to think you have to IMPRESS others at these types of things. I tried to put that overwhelming objective out of my mind and just take an interviewer's approach to it. Just find out about other people and don't talk about me unless they ask. It was really scary, but I did meet some great people who made it not as terrible as I had anxiously anticipated.
I made the situation work for me by using my strength of interviewing and asking questions- to my advantage.
Step #1: Use your strengths to your advantage
At this same event, my biggest FEAR about networking actually happened... Imagine me here talking about my films, my podcast... I even had a wing-woman who insisted on throwing my Emmy-win in there....
All of a sudden this random stranger cuts me off and says... "Whoa! That's too many things! I'll never remember you. You have to tell me ONE thing about you that I can remember, otherwise, NEXT!"
**Please hold as I remove my earrings...
Really? Okay. I wish I could tell you that I had a witty response for her, but I didn't. I backtracked. She got to me.
Looking back at it as someone who always has a better response AFTER the situation, I realize that I don't have to simplify who I am for ANYONE, ever.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever been to a networking event? What was the worst thing you've had happen to you at one of these? Tweet me @LoudaVision #NetworkingSux
After taking this time to reflect on that particular interaction, I've come up with 5 easy ways to be yourself.
Step #2: Embrace your MANY talents
Realize you don't have to be good at just ONE thing. You don't have to choose what you like best and throw out everything else. Imagine working at a job where you did the same thing every single day with no variation on your work, same home, commute, no vacation... it would feel like Groundhogs day! And we'd get sick of it quick.
Now imagine you could choose the things you like and incorporate them to create your ideal LIFE? That would be pretty sweet. So why not embrace ALL the things you love doing? It's not just about your job, it's a way of life. Here's how to embrace Variety...
Click here to listen to this interview with Variety Seeker Alex Wood The LoudaVision Podcast is available on iTunes, Soundcloud and Youtube
Step #3: Don't Hide
1 year ago, I couldn't stand hearing my own voice on a podcast. I was afraid to be on camera. Two months ago, a college classmate asked if I'd like to be featured in a mini-documentary about me as an artist.I do these types of videos every day, for other people, but have never been featured myself. I’ve rarely been on the other side of the camera.
It was a great experience and I am really proud of how they showcased the various aspects of who I am. So if you're ever given a chance to do something that will expand your comfort zone... DO IT! Don't hide your talent from the world.
Click here to watch this Code 360 video about me. (and see if you can find me uncomfortably squirming as I mention my Emmy award)
Step #4: Dream Big
We are only limited by our imagination. Set your own goals so others don't impose their dreams on your future.
Inspirational female conductor Nisan Ak dreams of performing at Carnegie Hall. Watch this video to find out how anything is possible if you work hard.
Step #5: Get to Know Yourself
Remember the terrible networking event experience I had? I will boldly state here... That is never going to happen to me again. You might be asking how I can know that so confidently. And it's not because I'm going to avoid these situations. You never know when you might be in a situation with a strong-willed, confident person who's telling YOU how to be YOU.My mindfulness meditation practice has kept me grounded in who I truly am inside. I set my intention before each potentially stressful situation. It's a mini-self-pep-talk, reminding me that I don't have to impress anyone, I don't have to be liked, it's not a competition.I've learned these techniques from Anahita Moghaddam, a mindfulness expert AND positivity coach/overall inspirational human-being Jacob Bacaner. You can listen to those episodes and start getting to know yourself!
Remember: You are NOT your work, or your role. You are the light inside that shines bright in every interaction, every smile, every act of kindness.
Truly, from the heart...
Website www.LauraMeoli.com | Podcast LoudaVision | Connect on LinkedIn | Twitter @LoudaVision | Subscribe to my Newsletter | Watch my most recent VIDEOS
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