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"Networking." For some, hearing that term gets them excited, but for others, it triggers sweaty palms and lots of stress. Networking isn't everyone's forte. However, meeting new people doesn't have to be scary. Here are some great ways to meet new people (AND have fun doing it!).

1. While you're practicing your presenting skills.

When you join a group that's focused on upskilling, it can help take the pressure off of networking a little bit. Toastmasters is a popular public speaking club that brings together a diverse group of individuals with a common goal: improving their speaking skills. Toastmasters is a particularly good club to join because the people are generally very supportive and friendly. Make an effort to go to the meetings and get to know people in the group. You never know who's going to be a valuable contact in the future!

2. While you're competing.

If you LOVE competition, consider joining a sports club or league! Joining local sports teams is a fun way to meet new people, make new friends, and get some exercise. Plus, you'll learn how to work effectively on a team. Sounds like a win to me!

3. While you're sipping a brew.

Consider attending local events at bars or breweries. It doesn't matter if you enjoy fancy cocktails or craft beer, there's plenty of opportunity for networking. People are typically more laid back and willing to socialize with new people when they have a drink in their hand. Just make sure to keep it low key and don't go crazy!

4. While you're breaking a sweat.

Okay, so you probably don't want to meet new people when you're running on a treadmill (in fact, if you're like me, you probably don't even want to be seen!). However, you should consider joining a fitness class like Zumba or yoga. Or, if running is your thing, consider joining a local a running club. These are fun ways to meet new people and get your exercise in for the week!

5. While you're helping out.

Volunteering is a great way to network with people in your community. Plus, you can hone (or build) some valuable skills that might come in handy on your resume! Check out what volunteer opportunities are in your area by going online or checking out local builtin boards.

6. While you're learning something new.

Learn something new! Try taking a pottery class or taking a history course. This is a great way to meet people with similar interests.

7. While you're exploring.

What's going in your area? Take a look at the community section of the newspaper, search for local events online, or look at your town bulletin board to see what's going on. Maybe there's a music festival or a paint night coming up! There are lots of great events happening in your community, which means there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people (and have fun doing it!).

Need more help? Check out our courses!

Want more? Check out our individual career courses! Learn all you need to know about job search, interviewing, resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn, and so much more. View our career course offerings here. This post was originally written by Ariella Coombs. Photo Credit: Bigstock
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