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Tips for introverts who want to attend a meetup

Recorded – watch the full episode on YouTube.

There are a lot of folks who are introverted, shy and they don't want to go to meetups. Have you any encouragement or advice to help folks put a foot out there and see where it gets them?‌

Paola Mata: I've heard that from a few people. Some people just don't don't like these kind of events because they're just larger. It can be challenging. If you have someone from maybe your team or your company, who's willing to go with you and somebody that you trust and just check out. Maybe try that.

I always find it easier to approach one person as opposed to approaching a group, if you want to ask questions or just get to know someone. I don't know beyond that. I consider myself pretty introverted. I don't love necessarily going to groups.

“Maybe just start small by getting to know someone on your team, someone at your company. And seeing if you want to go to something like that together.”

I sometimes go to some more casual events where I'm not expecting to be super technical or anything like that. That might be a little bit easier as opposed to the bigger technical talk events. It's hard. I can't imagine like for somebody who's super shy, it wouldn't be easy to go to an event like that. Maybe just start small by getting to know someone on your team, someone at your company. And seeing if you want to go to something like that together.

Paul Hudson: It's such a simple thing, but I think it really works. They basically act as backup for you if you need to get out, “This isn't comfortable, this isn't working out for me.” Someone to talk to so you aren't standing by yourself trying to mingle. So when you know anywhere makes things comfortable.

If you go into a random city for travel, you can do that. Of course, you can. Go with somebody else. Gives you an extra bravery to explore more, to see more, to try more. Because you're sharing with somebody else and it makes a big, big difference.

One thing I would add folks is that if you are sitting there thinking, “I’m just too shy to go to conferences or too shy to go to meetups.” That's okay. Going to meetups and going to events is not a requirement in our profession in any way whatsoever. I think they're nice too. I do. I enjoy going there. I meet a lot of my friends. I meet Paola there, for example. But they're not required. And if you don't want to go to them, you don't have to go to them. Don't force yourself to go into these uncomfortable environments unless you actually desperate need to get a job, find networking or similar.

This transcript was recorded as part of Swiftly Speaking. You can watch the full original episode on YouTube, or subscribe to the audio version on Apple Podcasts.

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