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How to network as an introvert

As you know, there are 3 types of people: introverts, extraverts, and ambiverts. The information below includes some tips to make it easier and effective for introverts to network.

An introvert is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. They feel drained after socializing and enjoy solitude.

Some things may cause difficulties for people who are introverts. They can’t rely on people, it’s difficult for them to let new people into their life. It’s quite hard for them to create new bonds and even small talk causes discomfort. For introverts, loners, and the shy, networking can feel firmly outside of their comfort zone. Still, networking is an important career and job search move: it’s through contacts and connections that many interviews are scheduled, and jobs earned.

What tips may help you to overcome constraint

Prepare

Before you agree to go to an event, you can spend a couple of minutes thinking about what you want to learn from other people and what benefits you may get. Prepare some questions to be ready to ask strangers, for instance: “How did you get started in your career?” or “What are you passionate about?”. For some people being on the spot causes some discomfort, in this case, you may write down some questions and practice them in order to be ready. You may also prepare in advance what you may tell about yourself, as not only one person should be interested in this conversation.

Find a Conference Buddy

If you feel discomforting to visit such events alone, you can always find a person to go with, it will make it less intimidating. So bring a colleague or friend to your next networking event or conference. In case, if there is no one who is able to attend the event, you can try to reach out and make just one connection. That way, you’ll have someone to sit with during lunch breaks and someone to wave hello to and introduce to others. This will help you not to feel like this isn’t your cup of tea.

Be Present

It can be a bit difficult to feel relaxed if you’re always thinking about what you should say next and what your interlocutor thinks. So try shifting the focus to your new acquaintance, instead. You should try to know as much as possible and practice your listening skills!

Be That Person

You should understand, that you aren’t the only person who feels ashamed of the event, that is normal. It may help, if instead of thinking about how it’s scary and uncomfortable to start speaking, you will think about how can you help others to feel more confident and calm. Maybe that girl alone at the table doesn’t know anyone either and is just hoping that someone will come to talk to her. Be that person who asks “Have you been to this before?”. It’s always a great opening line.

Smile

You don’t always have to initiate, but if you will always stand by and not even try to be friendly, you’re not giving off a very approachable vibe, either. Communicate openness through your body language and try to smile whenever you meet someone’s eyes instead of looking away. Making yourself appear approachable will mean that people will approach you. Try to stay calm, relaxed, smile a lot, and try to be friendly, in this way, the doors for new bonds would be opened.

Aim for quality over quantity

Networking isn’t a contest where you win if you network with the most people. Quite the opposite. It’s more about the quality of the people you meet than the quantity. The key is to connect with people you believe will impact your professional life. Even if you make one great connection, you’ll have had a successful event. Never feel bad if you leave an event without a ton of business cards (digital or paper cards). Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t interact with as many people as you’re able to; it just means that your aim should be to make strong connections, as opposed to many weak and superficial connections.

Perhaps the most important tip of them all is to remember that you’re not the only shy person in any situation: many people are introverts. In fact, one additional way to succeed at networking events may be to locate a fellow introvert.

Hope this article was helpful for you and you will definitely try those tips to make networking easier for you.

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