Use these Networking Tips for Introverts to Help You Feel Successful
While the prospect of networking can be daunting for many people, for introverts, it can make them run for the hills. As opposed to extroverts who feel energized by social settings, networking events are exhausting for introverts. While it is commonly assumed that introverts are anti-social, awkward, or shy, it is more common that introverts do not experience the gains from social events that their extroverted counterparts do. Additionally, introverts tend to value and get more out of authentic networking practices.
However, just because you are introverted does not mean that networking events cannot be successful for you. You can—and should—still make it a priority to network, but the way you go about it may be a bit different.
Be Mindful of Your Needs
As an introvert, large networking events can be incredibly draining. Be protective of your time. You have the power to control your own schedule. Therefore, if you need some time of solitude before investing your time and energy into a networking dinner or event, be sure to allow yourself that time. Recognize that you do not have to attend everything especially if it means ignoring your own personal needs. Ultimately, giving yourself permission to take the time you need to rest and recharge, it enables you to be more present when you are networking.
For introverts, carrying on and being present in multiple conversations is draining. Add that to the awkwardness that most people feel when meeting people they’ve never met before, and introverts may immediately want to hide in the back of the room. Prepare ahead of time for situations where you are expected to carry on those conversations by having some talking points ready to go. If you know what you will say or ask if a discussion starts to drag, it will eliminate much of the anxiety you feel.
While it is essential to get out of your networking comfort zone from time to time, it is perfectly fine to start small. Start with more intimate settings—lunch or dinner—where the sheer amount of people is not as overwhelming. Utilize professional online networking platforms such as LinkedIn to network with others in your industry. Additionally, do not neglect your networking capabilities within your own office by making connections and finding commonalities with the people with whom you work.