As an introvert, the amount of energy it takes for me attend and sometimes lead networking events is akin to running a marathon.
But a few years ago, when I became the leader of the our office in London, I realised that networking was to be a vital part of my job and that I had better learn to love it or I was going to have a very rough ride.
These days I typically go out two or three nights per week at different industry and network events and whereas I used to view it as work with a capital "W."
I now try to see these events as opportunities to learn and to potentially grow our business. They may still take everything I have energy wise, but by focusing on my higher goals I'm finally learning to love networking.
Any work activity becomes more attractive when it’s linked to a higher goal. So frame your networking in those terms. We’ve seen this approach help female executives overcome their discomfort about pursuing relationships with journalists and publicists. When we remind them that women’s voices are underrepresented in business and that the media attention that would result from their building stronger networks might help counter gender bias, their deep-seated reluctance often subsides.