Did you know that introverts can be great networkers? They just go about networking in a different mode than the extrovert, and since a lot of the advice you see on networking for your career seems to be geared toward those extroverts, the combination of introvert/networking has to be redefined.
Search Engine Journal usually is a site visited by marketers and webmasters, those interested in tech-savvy networking of the internet kind. But a recent article by Mindy Weinstein looks at 5 Networking Tips for the Tech-Savvy and Introverted, because even internet gurus have to do interpersonal networking for their career.
Use Your Strengths To Advantage
Many in the tech industries are introverted because the strengths of the introvert work well in this innovative, complex, problem-solving field. The problems most introverts have with standard networking advice is that it goes against their natural tendency to take things at a slower pace and process what is happening. It’s like being at a crowded all-you-can-eat buffet when you want to savor each bite in a quieter setting.
Once you understand your strengths, it’s a lot easier to prioritize the way you will do the networking that is so necessary in your career. These tips are a compilation of the advice given by successfully tech-savvy introverts to the rest of us:
- Pick and choose your networking events. Plan on only attending a select few and maximize your efforts by inviting those you connect with to a follow-up meeting.
- Be one of the first to arrive. This allows you to meet people at a slower pace and you know that the people who choose to sit by you are friendly, right?
- Don’t work the room. Your goal is to meet a few people instead of everybody there. Success is connecting, not touching.
- Ask questions to uncover someone’s story. Have an idea of the questions you want to ask, and share about yourself since this isn’t an interrogation. Introverts are great listeners, so use this strength to your advantage.
- Find out more about attendees before you go to the event. This helps in a couple of ways; you can think about what you’d like to ask, and you can connect before the event on social media if it’s appropriate. Then the networking event is a chance to meet someone you have already interacted with online.
Some of us are more natural at networking than others, but we all need to be part of a supportive network. The idea of networking is really that of support. If networking isn’t working for you, then maybe you need to change the way you do networking. Is networking working for you? If it is, your career is being cultivated and it will grow.