Networking for introverts
Don't play an extrovert's game
CAREER & PRODUCTIVITY
“Networking is hard for me because im an introvert!”
I said this for years, up to just a few years ago. And I hear this a lot from people I coach through the process of starting their job hunt.
Maybe it’s because I talk to a lot of academics, many of whom identity as an introvert
But I’ve found that the problems most people face with networking is not their introversion.
It’s the things they believe about what networking is supposed to be that makes their attempts at doing it:
Difficult: They have a hard time making connections
Unpleasant: It feels uncomfortable or downright gross to do it
Ineffective: They don't get what they were looking for, even if people respond
If you are using introversion as a reason for why you're bad (or going to be bad) at networking, you might be doing it wrong. Here's what you might believe about networking that's holding you back...
The song and dance
Wherever this idea came from, I used to think of networking as fancy dinner parties where schmoozing would happen
It would be a lot of fake smiles and kissing ass in order to fill up your Rolodex with important names that would be your way ahead in the world
Networking is all face to face
You need to put on a mask
Networking is a means to an end
You need to follow a complicated script
You need to be the life of the party
You should be networking with everyone
Networking happens across all communication mediums. If you’re literally stuck on an island with 2 flags and you’re waving them at another person on an island with their 2 flags, your semaphore signals could be networking. Hopefully one of you has a boat.