Imagine with me for a minute…
You are surrounded by complete strangers in a room where everyone seems to know everyone else, chatting merrily and exchanging business cards. You however, are clinging to the bar taking in your surroundings and people watching, studying each of the different cliques starting to form and hedging your bets on where you may best fit in. As time ticks by (and all your networking opportunities) you find yourself hoping that some kind extraverted soul takes pity on you and comes over to chat while simultaneously wishing you were ANYWHERE else but here. You’ve finally worked up the nerve and unclench your hands from the bar as you walk over and attempt to introduce yourself to the group of strangers you’ve been watching for the past 20 minutes.
As you stand there barely eking out your name, business, and short elevator pitch, you suddenly feel all those sets of eyes staring at you and go red in the face. You fall silent as you begin to worry about your next attempt at the perfect professional, engaging, or witty comment. You listen to the group as they chat with each other for a few minutes and end up silently ghosting the discussion, heading back to the bar for a bit of recovery. The process repeats 3 or 4 more times (on a good day) as networking slowly sucks the life out of you and every single interaction leads zaps energy until you’ve had enough and head home.
If you are an introvert, you know the unspeakable horror of of networking. What seems like an innocent evening of meeting new people and simple conversation suddenly becomes a painful and torturous ordeal.
I myself am a HUGE introvert and after working in corporate roles for national retailers, I’ve suffered through an uncountable number of networking events. I’ve gotten much better at playing the game but it’s taken me a long time to learn how to effectively network as an introvert. There’s a different set of rules for introverts if you want to make the most of networking.
Much of my networking success was from fantastic advice and tips from my podcast producer (and boyfriend) Doug Howard. He is a master of networking, genuinely loves people, and is a true extrovert in every sense of the word…but his advice to introverts isn’t what you’d expect.
Join us as we discuss the differences between networking styles, tips specifically for introverts, and how you can use your strengths to make the most of your networking experiences. So stay tuned for my interview with “introvert whisperer” Doug Howard on this episode - Networking For Introverts: Expert Tips from An Extrovert.
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