Networking as an introvert can be overwhelming, trust me I know. Here are 9 useful tips to make networking as an introvert a little easier.
- Find your personal networking style – Howard Seidel from Essex Partners says, “each person needs to find his or her own approach that works with their personality and level of comfort”.
- Take it one step at a time – “Breaking down networking into lots of concrete steps can make a nerve-wracking process more manageable and less overwhelming”- Seidel
- Create an agenda – This can help you stay focused in your conversations and on topic. You can even rehearse answers to common questions which most employers ask.
- Focus on advice, not a specific job – Seidel says, “introverts can be great at one-on-one conversations, so take each networking opportunity to develop greater common ground with your connection, beyond looking for a job”. This can help the connection last beyond just your job search.
- Find ways to demonstrate your passion and skills – “Since introverts often excel at one-on-one communication, this can come in the form of telling stories about the kinds of things you have enjoyed in the past, for example,” says Seidel. Unique skills and stories can help you stand out to employers.
- Use technology to your advantage – Online research and networking sites, like LinkedIn can help introverts create tools that show employers who they are and what they have done professionally, before they meet for that interview or information session.
- Give yourself time to recharge – Between networking events or meetings, it is totally okay to take time to yourself. For example, if you’re at a Career Fair here at CNU, talk to an employer, then come back out to the check in area and get some water or walk around. It’s totally fine to have those moments to yourself to regroup and get prepared for the next conversation.
- Use thank-you notes to clarify points – Handwritten thank you notess can both ease the stress of speaking in person and help the employer remember specific points of conversations that you had. These meaningful tools are especially useful for introverts to make sure that employers picked up on what you were trying to say.
- Recognize it doesn’t have to be perfect – “You should recognize that nothing is ever perfect when dealing with human interactions. Some will go better than others, but merely good meetings are not the enemy of the ideal meeting. Even bad meetings are opportunities to learn,” says Seidel.
Ideas for this blog post and more information on this topic can be found at: http://www.cio.com/article/2895120/relationship-building-networking/9-networking-tips-for-introverts.html