I am an introvert. When it comes to meeting new people, I am always awkward in having a conversation with them. It has been around 10 months since I started my first job as a Software Engineer.
At first, I thought it wasn't that necessary for my career, but I was wrong. One gets to learn so much about other's experiences at their jobs or something they have worked on in the past. Also, it is possible that one gets assigned a task which they are totally unfamiliar with, and they just remember that one of their contacts talked about something similar sometime. Then you talk to them, and the problem diminishes to a much smaller one after knowing their insights! It feels good to be connected to others at some level.
As someone as rightfully said, you don’t want to have to go through your entire career relying on recruiters to luck onto your LinkedIn profile, or applying online each time. It’s sometimes nice to have someone just call you up and say “Hey, I remember you worked on X and I have a similar project at Y, are you interested in meeting the team and seeing how you click?”
I usually never attend parties. But yesterday I decided to attend my team leader's farewell, since he is always nice and fun to us. Ours is a Japanese company and he will be moving to Japan permanently in a few weeks. I got to talk to some other team leaders during the party, which was fun. We went to a Karaoke bar, where all of us sang, one by one in hte begining and sometimes all at once. It was a great experience, something I'll probably never forget.