How to be a fearless networker

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This article is part of DBA, a series on Mashable about running a business that features insights from leaders in entrepreneurship, venture capital and management.

You're standing face-to-face with a professional in your industry who can help you advance your career. This is your chance to wow this person with a strong handshake, bright smile and direct eye contact, followed by a witty comment that initiates a loud fit of laughter.

However, you can't communicate well or make a good first impression when your mouth is dry, your palms are sweaty, your thoughts are scattered and you're blanking on that pitch you prepared.

Here's the good news: These nervous feelings and anxious thoughts are completely normal (and, in fact, very common), and there are ways to overcome them. Before you know it, you'll be shaking hands and expanding your network with ease and confidence.

Here are some networking tips to put to use when you feel intimidated.

1. Forget about the business side

Remember that engaging in a professional relationship is not an immoral practice founded on dishonesty. Job seekers should focus on maintaining a casual mentality and they should approach networking with a genuine curiosity instead of a fear of

 

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