Networking can be a great way to advance your career, and to grow your reputation. After all, networking can help you make connections with key people in your industry. Job fairs, conferences, networking events, and other business functions can all be excellent places to network and make connections.
Networking can come very naturally to people who are extroverted and who have no problem meeting strangers. However, for introverts, it might be a little more challenging. But introverts can benefit from networking just as much as extroverts can. Here are some great tips for how to network if you are an introvert
Take advantage of online opportunities
A large amount of networking can be done online. LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media or business networking sites, can all be used to meet and interact with people. This type of networking can work very well for introverts because it is less intense than direct face-to-face meeting.
Introverts can also use these sites to connect with people before they go to an in-person networking event. Meeting people in advance online may help to calm nerves associated with attending these types of events. If you know at least a few people in advance before you go, the process can be easier.
Do a lot of listening
Whether you have taken a personality test that indicates you are an introvert, or whether you are just a bit shy, being a good listener can be a great skill to help with networking. The reason is because many people love to talk about themselves and their lives. So, even if you can just do a lot of listening, it can help you make meaningful connections with people at networking events.
In fact, just by listening to people and allowing them to feel heard, you may leave a very favorable impression on the people you interact with. Listening to people can not only help you network at events, but also within your business or office.
Bring a friend/coworker
You won’t be able to bring a friend on a job interview, or to a one-on-one business meeting. However, you can definitely bring a friend or coworker to a networking event, conference, or convention in most cases. Having a friend or a coworker by your side can make the process of networking much, much easier.
It can be far less intimidating to meet people when you are doing it with another person and not by yourself. It also gives you someone to chat with when things are slow!
Networking can be extremely helpful for career advancement. Whether you attend networking events to find the best jobs for introverts, or whether you are simply looking to make connections, it is a great thing to do for your future. Networking online, doing a lot of listening, and bringing a friend or coworker to networking events are all strategies that can be used by introverts to make the process easier, less intimidating, and more fun!