Thursday, November 8, 2012

Networking For Introverts

By Abigail Vervalin

Recently, we have seen networking emerge as a crucial part of the job search process. Not only are people looking to their contacts to seek out new job opportunities, but also to conduct informational interviews, find mentors and build referral networks.

For introverts, the prospect of networking can seem daunting and uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, introverts have many natural tendencies that they can leverage to become superb networkers:
  1. Introverts tend to be good at fostering meaningful one-on-one relationships. You don’t necessarily have to be the life of the party or befriend everyone at the event—in fact all you need is to establish just one connection. This one contact can introduce you to others and eventually these singular meaningful relationships become the basis of an entire professional network at your disposal.
  2. Listening comes easily to people, who are less outgoing. In a networking situation, you may make yourself and the person you are speaking with more comfortable by asking them questions about themselves and their work. As they share more with you, you may find areas where you can relate and talk about your own personal experiences in a way that comes naturally.
  3. Introverts will avoid the mistake of overconfidence. Because introverts are reluctant to share information with people they just met, they may downplay their achievements. While this may not seem beneficial at first, we can see that appearing humble may be preferable to appearing disingenuous or too confident.

So, the next time you find yourself in the position to network with someone, don’t be afraid because your introverted personality is a great tool. Remember these tips and you’ll be surprised how many connections you make!