How to Network When You’re an Introvert
By Khadejah Stegall
Khadejah is a part of the TLC College Ambassador Program and attends North Carolina A&T University.
If you are an introvert, you may just get nervous when you hear the word “network,” and think of proving yourself to a ton of recruiters and executives in one room. Networking does not have to be scary and can be done more than one way. Jumping outside of your comfort zone doesn’t have to mean saying your pitch for hundreds of people. The Life Currency is here for you to show you other ways to network effectively.
Start with people you know
A great way to network is to ask your current network if they have any contacts they think would be beneficial for you to connect with. Reach out to professors, old managers and mentors. This a great way to network without going to an event and actually meeting people. The next step is up to you stay in contact with the person you are connected with and follow them on social to engage.
Use the internet
LinkedIn is a great way to network with people. You need to get into the habit of using your LinkedIn just as much as you use your Facebook or Instagram. LinkedIn recommends connecting with people that you know so a great way to meet new people is to go through your friend’s LinkedIn page and see if they have any interesting contacts they can introduce you to. Once you find someone who interests you, ask your friend if they can introduce the two of you so you can connect.
Schedule 1-on-1 meetings
One-on-one meetings are an effective way to build a genuine relationship. This can be over the phone or you can meet someone at their office. Have a list of questions prepared to ask so there won't be any awkward silence. It’s also a good idea to research the person before you meet with them to see if you have a commonality with them. This is a time to take advantage of informational interviews.
Host a dinner party
Invite your friends over for dinner and tell them to invite three or four of their friends. By doing this, you are meeting new people that you will likely click with if they are cool with your friends. You can serve as the host of the party while getting to know everyone else.
Form quality relationships and stay in touch
Networking is all about forming genuine relationships and creating advocates. Stay in touch with people that always advocate for you when you aren’t in the room.
Work behind the scenes
If there is an event for an organization you are a part of and there is a guest speaker, volunteer to be the person to pick the speaker up from the airport or serve as an assistant to a special guest for an event. This will help you to open up because you’re speaking to this person for a purpose and it’ll be easier to lead into a conversation about your career.
Networking as an introvert is possible with a few tips and tricks. What are some ways you network as an introvert?
Khadejah Stegall is a college mommy blogger that inspires others to achieve the impossible through the power of Jesus. She enjoys family time, eating vegan meals when it's convenient and mentoring others on professional development. To be inspired by more post, follow her blog at khadejahstegall.com.