How can I have confidence in a professional setting?
February 18, 2011 2:48 PM Subscribe
I will be attending an industry conference for the purposes of networking and I need to find the right mindset in order to create the best impression. This includes networking when I have little to no initial contacts, trying to impress industry professionals, and keeping it together through the week. Success is going to be tantamount to me appearing confident, how do I get in the right mindset?
posted by hellojed to Work & Money (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
In a week I will be attending the Game Developer's Conference for the purposes of networking. I'm planning on moving to the Seattle area later this year, so I will be mostly trying to touch base with developers from that area. As well as make as many meaningful contacts as I can, and maybe get a job at some point in the future.
Last year I went for the first time and was very unprepared, both in skills and in what I brought. I have fixed those issues (to a point). I have a portfolio full of game projects I worked on over the last year, a much stronger resume, and a degree. I'm working with someone on contract projects, as well as other projects where I'm contributing art and code or making something on my own time by myself.
So, I should be relatively fine right? Thing is, I don't think I'm good enough. I realize the "fake it till you make it" axiom applies to this, but I fundamentally realize it's a facade so maintaining such a thing is difficult. Add to the fact that I'm doing this in a strange city, applying to jobs I'm probably not qualified for, against a pool of more talented applicants, to jaded and uninterested professionals. Doing this requires me to basically put blinders on and shut out reality, as I will experience a lot of rejection over the course of the week.
In order to do this I will need an almost delusional level of confidence, and a care-free attitude despite the high-stakes. I need to be relaxed in a high-stress environment.
Some of the things that contribute to this (My skillset, portfolio, outward appearance) I will have fixed this time around. Despite an internship and almost getting hired, I still feel like I'm not an industry professional and haven't broken in, so there's this outsider thing I have to get over.
Mainly I'm just trying to avoid the disaster that was last year by having genuine confidence in a stressful situation. How do I exude confidence in this situation? And what are some ways in which to build/maintain this confidence during and before the conference?