Networking for introverts

Don't play an extrovert's game


2/29/20241 min read

“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:

  1. Difficult: They have a hard time making connections

  2. Unpleasant: It feels uncomfortable or downright gross to do it

  3. 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

The truth:

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.

Networking is