In this month’s link round-up, we will bring into perspective a more nuanced issue rarely talked about in professional articles assessing the job market: networking tips for introverts. It is a well-known fact by now that enhancing your map of professional connections (and even asking your friends for some useful introductions) can advance your career goals considerably, which is precisely the cause for all the networking-focused articles out there. But what few advisors acknowledge freely is how hard it is for otherwise extremely competent and well-prepared professionals to successfully network if they fall on the wrong side of the personality test, namely if they’re introverts.
Introversion does not equate to social inferiority in any way and each personality trait has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, in the realm of first impressions and especially in the somewhat colder business environments, extroverts are at a clear advantage when compared to introverts who may appear weaker, less confident, or even downright hostile (without it being the case by far). To help out with this issue, especially considering that there are a lot more introverts among us than people would think, we’ve put together a resource round-up of articles addressing this issue in their broader topic of networking tips. This way, you will have a better start on how to find the right career and how to expand your network horizon even if your people skills are a bit strained.
An Introvert’s Guide to Networking – The opening link on our list should definitely be this comprehensive guide from Harvard Business Review. Written in 2012, it still strikes close to home for anyone dealing with this discomforting tension between how they’d like to react in business situations and how they manage to come off as. The magazine has revisited the topic in this 2014 story with even more specific networking tips for introverts, so make sure you read it as well.
How Introverts Can Network without Changing Their Personalities – This recent story written by Lisa Evans focuses on making the struggle less of a struggle: the idea isn’t to go out of your way to emulate the explosive style of people who are more comfortable with spontaneous social interactions. Instead, you should focus on giving your unique qualities a chance to shine at the job. You may even be surprised at how you can manage your social relations in your professional sphere in a way that extroverts wouldn’t be able to.
WikiHow: How to Network If You’re an Introvert – This evergreen resource can prove to be a valuable guide and starting point to both extroverts and introverts alike when preparing for professional networking. The process is described in easy and clear steps, so that you know what to expect and what to tackle, so feel free to consider this short read your networking Bible if you’re not dealing with any introversion issues.
Networking for Introverts by Emily Schuman – A more personal take on the matter, written by a charming blogger recounting for us the discomfort of always comparing yourself with your more extroverted peers and how to get over the issue and find your inner networking strengths.
Forbes: An Introvert’s Guide to Small Talk – This recently published and completely relatable Forbes guide on networking for introverts focuses on what they call ‘8 painless tips’ and after reading it you will realize it resembles the best coaching talk you ever had. The anxiety that comes with networking as an introvert (and also the anxiety that comes with working as part of a team on a daily basis) will really be diminished after you go through these few tips, and you can start looking forward to your professional network more.
Image Source: Jobsite.co.uk.