An Introvert’s Guide to Networking
Networking for Introverts After Interning
One of the best ways to land your dream job after interning is to network with people who can connect you to other people who can move your career forward. But networking also means social interaction. For introverts, networking is even worse than public speaking. “Ugh,” you might think. I get it—I’m part introvert myself, and sometimes I just don’t feel like making small talk.
So what’s a gal or guy to do? Our introvert’s guide to networking gives you other ways to get connected out there without the dreaded coffee meeting or networking event.
Establish 1-on-1 Relationships
Introverts seem to do better with 1-on-1 interactions than being the life of the party. Pick one mentor, or someone who inspires you professionally, (and definitely someone who is well-connected) such as an old boss, a coworker, or a friend who you see doing well. Take him or her out for coffee, and ask them some questions about how they got to where they are today.
Ask them if they know someone in the field you are looking to work in they could connect you with. Follow up with a gift, which can be as simple as a link to an article they would find interesting, or a simple card. Chances are they will admire your initiative and will want to help connect you in any way they can. Read more tips on how to network with anyone
Be Active on LinkedIn and Facebook Groups
Online communication can be a beautiful thing – you don’t have to say a word out loud, and you can stay in your pajamas while chatting up your next (maybe) boss. Doing simple searches on LinkedIn for people in your field will help you find them. Join groups they are in, and post updates, Even reaching out to your college career counselor will help you get connected. Want to move to New York City? Find your school’s alumni group and start reaching out. You never know what opportunities could arise!
Create a Stellar Website to Speak for You
For creative roles, such as photography, writing, and design, creating a beautiful, attention-grabbing website is a no-brainer. However, if you’re in the political field, it can be rare. So what? This is what makes you stand out. Share your accomplishments, your passions, and articles you like. Showing that you are unique and that you have a personality to potential job seekers is the key to make them want to contact you.
Thanks to the World Wide Web, you don’t always have to wear a suit and a dorky name tag to attend a conference. There are many recorded or online conferences and webinars nowadays, and the best part is you can enjoy them from the comforts of home – no small talk needed!
With all of this being said, it’s still good to step out of our comfort zone once in awhile. Challenge yourself to attend one networking event and bring a friend to make it fun. Sign up for a Meetup group with people who have similar career interests. Take a stranger out for lunch. You never know whom you’re going to meet along the way if you step out of your comfort zone.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”