I have no problem admitting to anyone that I am introverted. World’s worst small talker? Me, for sure. Especially if we don’t know each other. I’ve always been really shy but I like to think it has improved with age, but still, it’s there.

Those who know me, family and friends mostly, know that I can be goofy, and most of the time sarcastic. When meeting new people I tend to fall back on sarcasm when engaging in small talk. I can’t help it. It’s my security blanket. That sarcasm doesn’t always come across with new people though. Makes me seem like more of an ass than a goofball lol. This leads me to eventually regretting every conversation I have with a stranger. Silly, I know.

Man looking remorseful at a window.
Me, after every social exchange. But this guy has more muscles.. and zero love handles. (Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash)

Yet, in my current field of work, healthcare, I’m great with patients (who are strangers to me). Maybe it’s just from years of practice, or my superhuman soft skills 🦸

“Networking” is a scary word for me. How in the world can I meet all these new people and convince them to help me, and hopefully one day maybe, hire me?! I think I’ve figured it out though. GET OVER IT!!!!

Seriously, that’s the solution. At least for me. In order to grow we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. So I set up a Linkedin profile, adjusted my Twitter account, and started telling everyone I knew that I was making a career switch. Next step for me is to start engaging in meetups and conferences (even in COVID times).

My networking hasn’t led to any actual paid work yet, but it has led me to discover a few things. For one, I never realized how many friends and family I have that either code for a living or know how to build websites. I had no idea. Take for example my friend Sean. Once he heard what I was doing we had the following conversation:

  • Sean: “Check out these projects I made with JavaScript”.
  • Me: YOU KNOW HOW TO CODE?!!!
  • Sean: Yeah Cory, it’s what I do for a living.
  • Cory: ……….. 😳

I just thought he worked in investment banking. Turns out I’m an idiot. Or a terrible friend. Or both. Yikes. Sorry Sean!

The other thing I discovered was that the web development/coding community is AMAZING! I’ve come across so many wonderful people throughout the community. I’ve had folks offer to look over my resume and provide feedback, show me code that helps me out with specific problems, set up connections with other people they know who can help me, and just get excited to help me get better. It’s astounding, and I love it. This just makes me want to work harder and to try and help others whenever I can.

Just Do It

If networking scares you and you’re not sure where to start, you gotta just do it. Take the plunge. Put yourself out there. The rewards are just too good to pass up. There is a world of people out there that want to help and see you succeed. Myself included, so hit me up on Linkedin and Twitter. Who knows, maybe we can help each other out!

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