Did you catch my latest Facebook Live - Weekly Discover Your Career Q&A?
If you are an introvert who cares about your career, then it is a must watch:
Networking is hard. It is work after all.
It is even more difficult for us Introverts. I know for me the thought of entering a room full of strangers is terrifying. Trying to find someone to talk to, having to figure out WHAT to say, and the worst – how do I leave a conversation. These are all the things that put me into an anxiety stupor and I know if I’m not careful, I’ll end up just sitting or standing by myself and not talk to anyone!
So I have had to find ways to make networking work for me, as an introvert. And since at least 50% of the world are introverts, these are tips that could help you out too.
1. What does Networking Mean?
Networking is all about relationship building. We all know how to do that. Introverts just go about it differently. I know I build relationships best by having one-on-one (or small group) conversations where I can ask lots of questions.
2. There is more to life than networking events.
My favourite type of networking is the informational interview or coffee chat. First of all it starts off with an email! It is usually a phone call and since I asked for it, I set the agenda so I don’t have to worry about it getting awkward.
There are also social media groups for networking now – LinkedIn and Facebook especially. If you live in the Halton Region – sign up for the Career Networking Group.
Looking into conferences and training, it will get you out there and maybe you can talk to the person sitting beside you.
3. Networking Events are possible
First of all, I don’t do cocktail events and I always skip on that portion of an event since it is an introvert’s nightmare. That is why the first CNG event I’m hosting is a cocktail event (coming in January) since I know it will be a safe space for me to finally get over this fear.
But I do like the dinner events, where I can sit down and have conversations with people at the table. And for me, it is all about preparation. Preparing for events really helps my anxiety and nervousness.
Find another introvert, but don’t enable each other. Push each other!
Sara Curto, Career Management Specialist. Working with you towards Career and Job Search Success.
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