7 Painless Networking Hacks for Introverts
If you’d rather go to the dentist than be forced to attend a job-networking event; If you’d rather visit the desert without a canteen of water than participate in the next industry conference in your field, this is for you.
To outgoing people this may sound dramatic, but to an introvert, the thought of approaching strangers or engaging them in conversation can be anxiety-inducing. In short, introverts typically do well in smaller, more intimate settings because they prefer to be alone, but they are good listeners.
Networking isn’t something all personalities are innately good at or comfortable doing. But with practice and a few simple tips, you can manage these situations with less worry.
1. Plan ahead.
Do your homework. Finding out who will be attending and look them up via social media (i.e., LinkedIn, Google, and Twitter). Learning more about the event and some of the other attendees or speakers beforehand can help you feel that you have some knowledge on which to base conversations. Do some research into current events that are relevant to your industry. Have talking points so that you can stay in some control of the conversation.
2. Set goals.
If the event is offline, plan to hand out 50 business cards and talk to five people. If the event is online, set a goal to follow up with so many people with a phone call or email.
3. Bring swag.
When networking offline, consider ordering a bright or edgy business card for networking events that is different from your normal design.
4. Focus on them.
In conversation, listen, then ask questions to take the attention off of yourself and onto the other person. People love being asked questions and given a chance to share information.
5. Have a drink… the good kind.
Now, don't get loaded at your networking event,but indulging in an alcoholic beverage at the begining of the event can make you feel a little less anxious.