The Regret Test: A Different Way to Think About Career Decisions
I absolutely hate networking. It’s awkward, I’m bad at small talk, and meeting strangers makes me anxious.
But looking back at my career so far, I don’t regret going to the networking events I’ve been to. They weren’t exactly fun, nor am I a natural networker, but little by little, they helped me feel more comfortable in that kind of environment.
I do, however, regret the networking events that I backed out of—the ones I declined in favor of sitting at home with a glass of wine instead. Because a year later, when I was on the hunt for a new job, I didn’t have a robust network of contacts I could appeal to—instead, I had to start at the very beginning to form that network.
Will you ever regret networking? Sure, maybe if you end up spilling red wine on your red shirt or saying something totally awkward (yep, I’ve been there). But for the most part, it’s something that’s going to help you and your career in the long run.