4 Key Networking Hacks for Introverts

 

I used to think that being shy and being an introvert were synonyms, the same way that being outgoing and chatty meant you were an extrovert. Well, someone recently told me that is not the case. Whilst introversion and extroversion refer to where we get our energy from, being shy and out-going are merely a personality trait.

So it is said that extroverts recharge their batteries and get energy from interacting with people whereas introverts get energy by spending time alone. Therefore, a big social event like a networking situation is mentally draining for them and that is why they can only participate in numerable social events before this drains them mentally and need to get back to their safe and quiet environment.

However, networking nowadays is essential, and as times goes by it is a crucial social situation to take part in to grow your career and get a job. Online you can find plenty of articles giving you tips on how to make the most and thrive at networking events and how to get through networking events if you’re shy, but in this one you’ll learn 4 key networking tips for introverts, which is not the same.

1. Plan ahead

Do your research! Start by googling who is going to be attending the networking event and make sure you know what they do, where they work at, etc. Knowing that will give you a pretty good idea of what you can talk to them about and thus not have to think on the spot when you meet them at the networking event. Also, do your research on the schedule of the event: what and when each conference and activity is going to be held so you can plan your breaks. Which leads me to the next tip...

2. Take breaks

One of the most valuable tips I can give you when it comes to networking for introverts is to take breaks during the event. And even if the convention doesn’t give you any, make sure you set some alone time during the event (or after if it is a day thing) away from other attendees and colleagues. This is a great way to recharge your batteries and break your day into parts so it’s not that overwhelming and challenging.

You can opt to get lunch on your own or squeeze in a walk in between conferences to get your mind off things. Taking time to recharge alone will help you approach the whole event with regenerated eagerness and vitality.

3. Make contacts, not friends

Networking events are not meant for making lifelong friends, but rather for making initial contact to pursue a business relationship later on. This is a relief to hear if you’re an introvert like me, as this means you won’t have to spend a lot of time talking to the same person, but rather enough time to feel comfortable to email them or arrange a one-on-one meeting afterwards.

The key is to use your time at networking events strategically. Try to meet as many people as you can and connect with them by just having a quick conversation and then find another interesting person to talk to!

4. Listen!

People love to talk about themselves! For me, though, and for the rest of my fellow introverts that is not the case. So one of the best networking tips for introverts I have that works wonders in business events, parties and just social situations in general is to listen to the other person and ask questions about their personal life (without coming across as creepy!).

This is truly the best way for introverts to save energy and make time go by quicker without missing on interesting stories and conversations.

 

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