For introverts, networking may be daunting or frightening. Typically, introverts prefer spending time alone or with only one or two individuals as opposed to being with a huge group of people. However, networking doesn't always need being among a lot of people.
Instead, it can include establishing solid personal connections with individuals who can serve as mentors throughout your career and from whom you can learn.
You'll see that network is something you may become proficient at after knowing the efficient ways to approach the task. Even if you're an introvert, this method may be significant for your professional development.
Here are six recommendations on how to meet new people and expand your network even if you are an introvert.
1. Make It More Natural by Using Tools and ProceduresDo not forget that you may utilize tools to manage the process, such as a spreadsheet to keep track of your location, who you talked with, and when, or LinkedIn to find the appropriate individuals.
Fortunately, you may contact experts to request their time as this is probably a method with which you are already familiar. Instead of video or in-person, you may have a 15–20 minute educational session over the phone.
While you could ask inquiries through email, try to push yourself to see if you can get comfortable asking questions over the phone instead since you will have access to more valuable and high-quality information that way. Recognize that if you remove the bandage and make only one networking call, you will gradually improve and get more self-assurance.
2. Bust Myths and Fears You May HaveBe aware that although you are asking someone for their time and assistance, doing so is completely appropriate, courteous, and professional. Recognize that although many individuals think networking is sleazy, most professionals use it as a means to learn and advance their careers. You will get assistance from someone, who in turn sought assistance from someone else earlier. Eventually, you will assist someone else by sharing your professional knowledge. Without knowing all the facts, it is quite acceptable to contact someone for "networking" or information. Asking questions and learning are the main objectives of the call. People are often delighted to assist others and impart their knowledge. In the worst-case situation, they either ignore your request or are unable to assist; in that case, you may just locate someone else who can.
Just keep in mind to arrive thoughtfully and prepared. Send outreach that is clear, genuine, focused, and demonstrates that you will respect their time.
The finest person to know is yourself. So, if you think it would be beneficial, consider seeking assistance from a coach, mentor, or peer to resolve any ambiguities and achieve your objectives.
3. Maintain Contact With Your Networking ContactsAlways follow up a call with a thank you message within 24 hours. It's a fantastic chance to highlight the important aspects of the conversation and to take advantage of any offers they made to assist you after the call, whether it was a second introduction, a reference, the providing of materials, or anything else.
If you're actively looking for a job, you may get in touch with them again after 30 to 60 days to communicate any significant developments and to see if they have any updates of their own. This is because job openings and team changes often occur rapidly.
For general networking, you should check in with people you got along with well at least twice a year. If you discover a wonderful mentor, you may ask them if they'd be open to having frequent conversations with you.
4. Recognize the people you ought to connect with and network withYou have a few different types of connections you may use, and you can choose the one(s) with which you feel most secure.
Consider the network of your network with an open mind.
We often believe we know who everyone knows. However, you may be shocked to learn that if you asked a family member, friend, neighbor, acquaintance, or member of your wine or gym club who they could know in your desired jobs or sectors, they might just be able to connect you to someone.
Using LinkedIn to locate and use your alumni network is another option.
It's a really effective technique for connecting with individuals in your target positions or industries since you'll share a connection with them.
When you share an alma mater with someone, they feel a warm connection and are much more eager to assist.
Finding relationships between people is also made simpler by LinkedIn. In this manner, you may quickly determine if a person you know is associated with a desired connection, at which point you can politely request an introduction.
Finally, think of cold contacts who you haven't met but would want to. To make individuals more receptive and willing to assist, try to discover people who are on the same professional level as you.
We typically fear that others may notice what we're doing when we think of introverts and networking. But keep in mind that most people are too busy with their own lives to worry about you.
The call is a very forward-thinking idea; you gain knowledge from their experience and get suggestions for your future course of action. Since this is not an interview, your history is virtually irrelevant to the call itself. Instead, it's a chance to absorb knowledge from that individual.
5. Utilize Specific Platforms to Locate Networking ContactsLinkedIn is an incredibly effective research tool for discovering alumni, connections, and more. You may also look into other innovative options, such as online seminars or live industry events that are either pertinent to your sector or are just designed for networking.
Additionally, you may take into account online forums designed to foster human connections (such Ladies Get Paid, Elpha, Reddit, Quora, etc.) or other locations where you can locate groups for a certain business (e.g., Slack groups).
6. Develop Appropriate Outreach Phrases for Networking ContactsGaining confidence in networking requires learning how to appropriately word your approach.
Don't forget to write how you would speak. Be genuine and succinct. Do not overthink it. It may be a kind but succinct letter.
Additionally, be precise about what you want to learn from that individual. Try to make a list of two to five subject areas where you might pick their brains during a call. They will be able to tell that you are organized and will make good use of their time.
Last but not least, include a call to action that will make it simple for them to assist you, whether you're looking for a 15- to 20-minute conversation within the next two weeks or an introduction from their network.
Final ThoughtsYou may utilize networking as a practical, relevant technique to advance in your job. Find a supportive ear and ask yourself what exactly makes you uncomfortable to see if you can uncover any limiting beliefs.
Although you may have some hesitations about networking, these can be overcame so you may confidently profit from its many advantages and advance your career.