Just hearing the term “networking” can make introverts squirm. From uncomfortable interactions, to forced and awkward conversations, the shy and the quiet steer away from networking at all costs, which really hurts your chances of getting hired.
But with the blessed features brought to us by the internet, we introverts can now network, in our own ways, without having to step too far out of our comfort zones.
Introverts can now network like pros with these quick and easy networking tips:
Take Advantage Of LinkedIn’s Features
LinkedIn is a site specifically design for professional interactions, for employees and employers to interact and forward their agendas. So use it to its full capacity. LinkedIn lets you create your own profiles, which can speak for themselves. You can virtually connect with others, and join professional groups within your field to see what is going on and to stay up to date with events that could help your further your career goals. LinkedIn is the perfect spot for amateur networkers to start networking!
Reach Out Via Social Media
Do you know of someone you would like to network with and speak to about a job or about other opportunities? Add them on LinkedIn, or send them a friend request on Facebook. Then start the conversations there. If you know that they will be at an upcoming event you plan to attend, send them a message about how you are looking forward to meeting with them. The fact that you reached out to them will earn their respect and attention, and you will have an easier time starting up a conversation. Both introverts and extroverts alike can find social media networking to be beneficial to their professional networking efforts.
Prepare Yourself For Networking Events
When in-person networking events come up on the schedule, and they always do, don’t hesitate, or skip out on the opportunity, as introverts are prone to make that mistake. Instead, take the plunge, but prepare yourself. Have a plan of who you want to engage with, and plan some topics of conversation so you don’t freeze up when you introduce yourself to your potential new boss. Com prepared with specific questions, as well and be ready to listen and truly receive the information that is being thrown at you. These interactions aren’t as intimidating as they seem, as long as you are ready for what’s coming your way.
Opt For One-On-One Interactions
Don’t like public speaking? No problem. You don’t have to participate in large group discussions, and reach out to everyone at once. Instead, opt for one-on-one conversations. These will be less intimidating, and you’ll be able to speak in a more comfortable environment. Plus, the people you reach out to and speak with are more likely to remember the individual, as opposed to a group of people, so this approach will actually help you network better than others.
After you do interact with people in person, at events and business meeting, connect with them online. Some would call this creepy, but if you had a great conversation with someone who could help get you an opportunity, you can easily connect with them and send a message saying how you enjoyed your conversation and would like to keep in touch, or even ask a question about something you discussed. This will help keep the conversation moving, and help you stay in touch with contacts who could help you reach your future goals. Your contacts will appreciate that you remembered what they said and will respect your dedication, so when the time comes they will help you out in any way they can.
With this networking guide, even the most bashful introverts can come out of their shell and find the connections to further their careers.