Networking can be good for your career, but introducing yourself to a roomful of people can also be draining. The next time you attend a conference or professional happy hour, consider bringing along a coworker to help. The two of you can divide and conquer, meaning you’ll each talk to different people and then share notes. That way you’ll both expend less energy while still gathering a large number of contacts by the end of the night.
Choose a colleague who is more extroverted than you and who gets excited by socializing with others. Come up with a plan for who will talk to whom. And remember that it’s OK to take a break during the event to restore your energy. Even if it’s just a few minutes long, it might give you the boost you need to get back to making small talk.