Securing an effective social network is an integral part of a lot of jobs nowadays. Whether you’re a real estate agent or a freelance writer, there’s many different careers in many different industries that will involve building up a list of contacts and forming professional relationships.
If the responsibility of being personable and confident makes you squirm, then there are many ways you can make sure you are as productive and successful as possible when networking. Here is a list of ways you can make your life that little bit easier as a small introverted fish in a big extroverted pond. Listen up.
Start online first
A great way to start networking is to get yourself a strong online presence. There’s plenty of different professional social media sites, so set up a proficient profile and start communicating with others online. A good way to do this is to keep active. Add people, share posts, and join groups. We now live in a digital age, so don’t be distant. Stay online and stay present.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself
You have no reason to doubt yourself. You must remain confident in yourself and the work you do, so never turn down any opportunities because you don’t feel worthy. One open door can lead to a hundred more, so always say yes when the time and place is right for you. Be bold, be friendly, and listen to other people’s advice. If you’re naturally likable, then your personality and the great work you do will speak for itself.
As an introvert, you probably worry about anything and everything that may or may not go wrong when it comes to arranging a meeting. The truth is, everyone gets a little nervous sometimes, and the best way to combat these worries is to ensure that you are as prepared as possible. Be ready to take part in some small talk, and try to be as open and honest as possible.
Make the first move
The key to being a networking expert is having the confidence to get yourself and your name out there for the world to see. Even if your insecurities are eating you up on the inside, it’s what you project on the outside that really counts. Don’t be scared to make the first move, and after a meeting you think went well, always follow up first. Get yourself noticed by going the extra mile. Be the big fish!
Bring someone else
If it’s an informal social event you’re going to, then why not bring along a friend or co-worker? Having someone there with you can break the ice and give you that little bit of extra confidence you need. It’s all about feeling comfortable and competent around others. If you think having a companion will help, then certainly give it a try.
Or network one-to-one
Introverts tend to fear social groups. There’s something about big group conversations that can make us feel inferior and unable to participate in the discussion going on. If this is the case, you should try making your meetings one-on-one whenever possible. It’ll give you the best chance to be yourself and show off what you have to offer in an environment where you feel most relaxed.
If any of these introverted concerns about professional life sound like how you feel, then please know you’re not the only one. Seriously, you’re not. In fact, sometimes the most overtly confident people can be the secretive worriers. So don’t give yourself a hard time. Take one step at a time to make sure things don’t get far too much to cope with far too quickly.