Networking for Introverts

May 17, 2017

Networking, Uncategorized

Are you a reluctant networker? Are you hiding in plain sight?  Are you shy or just afraid to get out there?  Do you fear rejection?

You’re not alone.

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Even extraverts can struggle with the prospect of having to network their way to employment.

Yet the fact remains that this is by far and away, the best strategy for finding a job.

Each week I teach classes on networking and I poll participants to see how they found their last position. Most say through some form of networking.

Think about your last position. How did you find it?

The key is to start small and implement a networking strategy you are comfortable with. For example, schedule 2 or 3 networking meetings with close friends or people you have worked with in the past.  Chances are they will want to meet with you, especially if you offer to treat them to a cup of coffee.  They may not be working in your industry, they may even be retired, but they know people and it’s possible they know people who might be a resource for you.

No matter whom you speak with and meet with, always ask this question, “Given what I’ve shared about my background and objectives, who else should I talk to?” You can then leverage their contacts to build your network and eventually connect to hiring managers.

Are you more comfortable in group events? Group events can include networking meetings, social and professional groups like Meetups.  Which type of group sounds the least intimidating?  Make a goal of talking to at least two people you don’t know and exchanging business cards.  Follow up by connecting on social media sites like LinkedIn.  This is yet another way of continuing to expand on your connections.

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The principle behind networking is that you are continuing to expand on whom you know and who knows you. Once you have established your great network, you will want to stay in contact with them.   Some of the ways to do this are through emails, phone calls, and social media posting and continuing to attend events.

And once you go back to work, make sure to notify your network and thank them for the help they have been. Remember that you too are a resource for your network. When you have the chance, you can pay it forward.

 

 

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