“Introverts crave meaning so party chitchat feels like sandpaper to our psyche.” Diane Cameron
Have you tried networking as an introvert? Networking can be super stressful. As an introvert, going out and making small talk (or business talk) with people who are not a part of your inner circle can be enough to have you curled up under the covers in the fetal position.
How often do you feel like nobody understands how you feel, or that they really don’t care?
It’s true that when I go out and try to be sociable, I find myself hiding in a quiet corner, hoping nobody will notice me, but also wishing somebody would guide me out of my comfort zone.
Contradictory much? Yeah, I know!
Here Are My 5 Most Important Tips For Networking If You Are An Introvert
Create Your Own Positivity Bubble
We all know it’s important to surround yourself with a positive and supportive crew, but if your friends and family aren’t supportive, where do you go?
Facebook Groups are a great place to start. You can find so many other like-minded people online, who might also be feeling just like you. An added bonus is, if they are local, you can catch up in real life! Don’t feel pressured to pitch your business, simply catch up for coffee (or cocktails) and have a chat, share your experiences, and learn from each other.
I must admit, there are times when I feel overwhelmed and would rather walk barefoot on Lego pieces than be sociable, but this is when I really need to surround myself with positive people.
Actively engaging and creating my “bubble” of positivity is important for my mindset and mental health.
From Negativity To Positivity
After recently resigning from my day job (after 27 years in that particular industry) I feel a lot more positive and inspired. The business I was in was a very negative and draining environment. There was no room to be me, I couldn’t speak up, I was constantly ignored, I was just another number on the payroll.
When I finally took the plunge and resigned from my job, the first thing I felt was relief! Then I started to feel inspired and alive!
I’ve found it’s important to surround yourself with people you admire and like. People who can help you on your journey to becoming the best version of yourself.
Networking As An Introvert
Networking was the first thing on my list. As a true introvert, and being super shy, this was going to be a HUGE challenge. Yep, networking as an introvert can be awkward, super stressful and can suck the life out of you. My initial thoughts of networking is that I need to sell myself, I need to be sleazy and forward. I need to be an extrovert! Well, that ain’t me!
I’d been invited (numerous times) to a monthly networking event with a wonderful group of local ladies, all business owners themselves. I’d connected and mingled online with this beautiful group of people, and I knew I would eventually have to step out of my comfort zone and meet them in person.
OMG! I was terrified. But, I am so glad I took that plunge.
That night I met so many wonderful people, everyone was super supportive and friendly. This was the best thing I could have done for me personally, and also for my business. I now feel like networking events are more of an opportunity to meet new friends and like-minded peeps.
I find myself inspired daily and really do feel like I want to step up and take more control of my life and business.
These lovely ladies have helped me realise this.
So, it’s time for you to step out of your comfort zone and start networking too.
Have you started networking in person? What was your first networking event like?
Know When It’s Time To Leave
When out and about, it’s easy to feel energized and positive. But it’s important to know when you’ve had enough.
Don’t think of it as “outstaying your welcome” but think of it as leaving when the going is good!
While some people you are socializing with might be the life of the party, if this is not in your wheelhouse, the whole event can become exhausting. Don’t try and keep up with them. Instead, be yourself. Do your thing and when it feels like it’s time to leave, say your goodbyes.
Be graceful and courteous, but above all be polite when taking your leave.
Take Time To Recover And Replenish Lost Energy
After a full few hours of networking, you might be feeling exhausted. This is natural for many introverts. For me personally, I find myself on the verge of a migraine and feeling quite drained.
I love to relax when I get home, take a hot shower, rehydrate, then possibly take a nap. Re-energizing after a networking event is important. You want to be able to get on with your work and your life without too much downtime.
Above all, don’t feel obligated to attend every networking event that comes your way. It’s okay to be strategic, and pick and choose the ones you feel will benefit you the most.
Did you enjoy my 5 most important tips for networking if you are an introvert?
Are you an introvert? Do you find networking challenging? Please share your experiences in the comments.