The word "networking" might as well be a swear word to introverts. Whenever someone is giving job searching advice, they almost always mention networking. For an extrovert, networking is an easy and even fun task. On the other hand, introverts might find that networking is completely overwhelming and draining. Fortunately, with a bit of practice and patience, networking can become much easier for introverts.
1. Use Your Empathy To An Advantage
The best part about being an introvert is most are extremely empathetic. Use your fantastic listening skills to your advantage. Many people are great talkers and awful listeners, so by actually listening to the people you meet, you'll make yourself stand out. Also, studies show that the human brain is wired to remember those who are different.
2. Stay True To Who You Are
You have probably heard this a thousand times in your life but it's true. You can't compare yourself to and expect yourself to behave like an extrovert. Doing this will only overwhelm you, when in fact your networking attempts are much more likely to be successful when you act like yourself. If big groups stress you out, that's okay! You can still network efficiently in smaller groups.
3. Take It Slow
Over time, networking will begin to feel more natural to you. Don't force yourself to do anything you aren't comfortable with. Instead, take smaller opportunities to network. For example, while at work, take a break every so often and chat with your coworkers. Try to invite them to lunch twice a month. Over time, networking will become easier for you and your true personality will begin to shine.
Networking can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be. Just take it slow and be yourself. For even more information on networking and other job searching tips, contact HireVibe. We offer high-performance coaching and can help you become an effective networker.