To succeed in your career, you need networking tips – especially if you’re an introvert! Here’s how to navigate meetings and marketing for people with introverted personality traits.
Before the tips, a quip:
“Most Americans, whether introverted or extroverted, have learned to look like extroverts,” writes psychologist Laurie Helgoe in Introvert Power.
However, 57% of the U.S. population are introverts or have mostly introverted personality traits – which means that most of us are ignoring our true personalities! For more info on introversion, read Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by Laurie Helgoe.
And, here are networking tips for introverts who want to be more successful….
6 Networking Tips for Introverted People
Introverts have an inward focus, don’t enjoy being the center of attention, and find groups of people draining. Introverts are private people, and would rather be at home alone or with another person or two than at large parties or events.
Are you an introvert? Take this Test for Introverted Personality Traits.
1. Meet clients one-on-one. If you’re an introvert, you find that groups of people drain you of energy and may even make you feel uncomfortable. Instead of networking at work parties or in large group settings, create ways to network with individuals. This tip for networking successfully may take more time (talking to colleagues in large groups provides more opportunities in a shorter amount of time) – but you’ll find yourself making more meaningful connections and achieving your professional goals.
2. Reward yourself for overcoming obstacles. If you bite the bullet and network at a work function, find ways to pat yourself on the back later! Get a massage or see a movie in the middle of the day — whatever your version of “reward” is. The more positive associations you create when you overcome obstacles, the easier stepping outside your comfort zone and making new contacts will become.
If you think networking is one of the best ways to move your career forward, you’re right! Read Why Doing a Good Job Won’t Get You Ahead at Work.
3. Network with other introverts. A great tip for networking successfully is to find like-minded folk. It can be draining for introverts to spend time with extroverts. Recharging your batteries includes spending enough time alone, connecting with people who understand you, and accepting your personality type.
4. Connect with extroverts. As an introvert, you may find it challenging to achieve your professional goals because success requires other people (and most introverts like to work and be alone). Extroverts enjoy making contacts, meeting people, schmoozing, and working the room at all types of functions…and thus make excellent business partners and work colleagues for introverts. This can be a healthy, symbiotic relationship for both sides (most extroverts don’t enjoy working on tasks that take them away from people).
5. Learn how to make small talk. This tip for networking successfully for introverts can be learned quite easily! Making small talk is a skill that you can practice at home, around the water cooler at work, at family functions, and standing in line at the grocery store. Small talk helps you get to know colleagues and clients better – and lets them know you better, too. Never underestimate the power of small talk!
6. Find creative ways to market yourself. To achieve your professional goals, you may be okay with leaving your comfort zone and doing the “extroverted” thing: making speeches, teaching classes, running meetings, or even making television or radio appearances. But if your introverted personality style prohibits you from taking those risks – or if you just don’t wanna – then you need to find other ways to network successfully. Try making online appearances (eg, teleseminars or podcasting) or using your website or blog to attract new clients. If you find ways to succeed that revolve around your natural personality traits, you won’t lose yourself in your quest for success.
Here’s another article that can help you take your career a step farther: How to Convince People to Say Yes – 5 Persuasion Techniques.