Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Hi there! You are definitely not the first person who has felt this way about networking and putting yourself out there as a job seeker. I have heard a similar lament from people who don't think they are shy, they just don't want to rely on someone else to take their career to the next level.
I think it might be a good idea to rethink your mind set on this one. If networking makes you uncomfortable because it is focused on getting a job, consider changing the focus to your personal development and learning something new. Talk to people about their skills, their experience and build relationships. If a job comes from that, wonderful! But you don't have to start with pressing for work.
In truth, it is equally important to seek out networking while you are gainfully employed as while you're learning. In my role, I seek out people who know more than I do about things I'm interested in and in turn, I return the favor by helping people new to my areas of expertise. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how many people are happy to share information about their work and companies with you. Let it build your confidence!
Networking is a skill that will benefit you for a lifetime, don't think you have to be an expert right off the bat. It will change, grow, develop throughout your career!
Best of luck!