Image from Val Nelson
I had to put on my big girl panties today. My wingman bailed on me, leaving me to attend a networking event all by myself. An event where she had promised to introduce me to folks she knew (i.e. everybody). I hate networking events. I possess very few qualities of an extrovert (even under the influence), so venturing solo into a room full of strangers where I will be expected to initiate conversations generally makes me nauseous. But I need a job, and this expo of local businesses seemed like a good place to find possible leads. So I had to go. By myself.
And you know what? It wasn’t actually that bad. I don’t know whether this means I’m maturing, or whether extrovert tendencies rub off (my no-show wingman is a CLASSIC extrovert), or if I was temporarily possessed by aliens. But I introduced myself, I chatted, I asked questions, I joked. I collected information, business cards, boatloads of pens and notepads, and chocolate (whoever planned a business expo two weeks ahead of Halloween was a GENIUS). I don’t think anyone would ever accuse me of being an extrovert, but I held my own.
I don’t know whether a job will come directly from today’s outing, but I’ve officially survived a solo networking event. I walked out feeling like I’d conquered a personal demon. Maybe my wingman’s desertion was actually a blessing in disguise. Those big girl panties fit pretty well.