The thought of networking strikes fear into many a heart. Why would you go up to a complete stranger and speak to them?! What if they don't want to speak to you? What if they think you are dumb? These are some of the thoughts that could be going through your head. Now, before I go on, please let me put in a disclaimer here:
I am an extreme extrovert and I love networking and speaking to random people. I do not pretend that I hate it or that it scares me.
Now that that's out of the way let me highlight why networking is important:
A solid network could mean that you are recommended for an upcoming opportunity.
Someone in your network could introduce you to someone in THEIR network to learn something new or for a job opportunity
Your next mentor/mentee could come from within your own network
Your network can help you with advice or to work through something technical
You could possibly change someone's life with advice that YOU give