I've always been the quiet type, often electing for the quiet corner of the room rather than being the speaker on the platform. Paul Dessert's guide to getting noticed as an introvert though has me thinking I need to shake up this behaviour if I'm to push my career forward as a freelancer.
Here's his take on going to meetups:
Seriously, do it. I know what you're thinking, "screw that, why do I want to talk with a bunch of random strangers? Most people that go to those are greasy salespeople". Guess what, you're right. Most of them are filled with people handing out business cards. Ignore them. Find people that are interesting. They don't have to work in the same industry as you, in fact, I'd suggest seeking out people in industries other than your own. You spend most of your time at work or school associating with like minded people, step out of that bubble and understand the needs and pains of others.
Want to know the secret to a good conversation? Shut the fuck up. Plays right into our wheelhouse, right! People LOVE to talk about themselves. Let them. Just listen and learn. You'll make new friends and gain a potentially valuable contact you can lean on in the future.
— The introverts guide to getting noticed by Paul Dessert