Networking Advice & Tips For Introverts
About one in every four people is a natural introvert. Contrary to popular belief, introverts aren’t shy, and they don’t hate people. They just find their energy drained by interacting with people and restored by time alone.
If this is you, networking might sound exhausting. But it doesn’t have to be. By playing to your strengths, you can build a network that helps you find a job you’ll love.
Here’s how to network as an introvert:
- Go one-on-one. Introverts tend to burn out quickly in large crowds or in situations in which they must stay engaged among many new acquaintances. On the flip side, they’re often the best at building deep relationships. Start by reaching out to people in your professional and social networks you already know and like. Offer to meet them one-on-one for coffee, lunch, or a walk around the block to talk about your job search.
- Plan your energy. Parties and “networking events” are difficult precisely because you gain your energy from “alone time,” not from “people time.” So plan ahead. Work in time for yourself both before and after you head out to network. This way, you’ll be at your best energy level when you attend, and you’ll be able to process and plan afterward instead of throwing yourself into another exhausting activity.
- Set a goal. Instead of entering a large party, social gathering, or similar networking event with the goal of handing out business cards, decide you’ll talk to a set number of people – no more than five – or you will find and speak to particular individuals, like people who work at a company you’d love to join. Your goal will help you focus your energy, and when you’ve reached it, you’re free to excuse yourself.
- Talk to your recruiter. Your staffing partner knows people throughout the industry you want to work in. Let them become your “foot in the door” and make the introductions, so you can find the best people for your network in less time.