Finding a new job requires talking to lots of people. Lots and lots of people. For techies, who tend to be introverted and more comfortable dealing with machines than people, the networking aspect of job hunting adds to the stress. Rather than staying in a job you don't like because trying to get out of it is too uncomfortable, use these tips to make networking easier.
Network with people you know.
Networking can mean trying to make contact with powerful strangers, but in job hunting, you'll often find more benefits from networking with people you already know. Your friends in the industry, the professors and teachers you studied with, and your former managers all can have important information about opportunities you'd be interested in. Because you already know them, and already like them, connecting to talk about career opportunities shouldn't be difficult.
Network via email.
"Talking" doesn't have to mean meeting for a face-to-face conversation, or even talking on the phone. Try making contact by email or text message instead. You won't have to worry that you're imposing on the contact, because they can respond whenever it's convenient to them.
Network at events.
You can network even at events where networking is the not primary focus. You can also network at events where you're doing things you enjoy. Attend an industry conference on a topic that interests you or participate in a hackathon challenge. You can be sure you and the other people at the event share a common interest, so connecting and finding things to talk about shouldn't be difficult. The same applies to networking at non-technical events.
The best way to build a network is to reach out to people frequently. If you wait until you're looking for a new job, you may find you have no one to network with. You'll also feel better about networking if you're able to contribute something to your contacts instead of just asking them for help, so be on the lookout for opportunities to offer advice and support.
Take advantage of other people's networks.
You can reduce the networking you need to do by leveraging other people's networks. Technical recruiters, like those at The Armada Group, are plugged in to what's happening in the industry, and their databases are filled with job listings. When you network with a recruiter that might be the last network connection you need to make before starting your new job.