Being a natural introvert and a millennial can be hard. Big crowds, meeting new people, and the stress of knowing that networking needs to be done can cause some major stress. However, it is possible to be introverted and to network successfully. The stress of building your network as an introvert can be put at ease with these five easy steps:
1. Look at the Bigger Picture
To help you with the motivation to put yourself out there keep in mind that the objective of building your network is to expand your professional horizons beyond what they currently are. If you would work hard to complete a project or put in extra hours at work to make sure that a presentation is as thorough as can be, you should put that same amount of effort into networking. As necessary as networking is, it is important to be as good as you can be so that you are performing in all aspects of your life at your full potential. Think about your career, the goals you have, and how important your goals are.
2. Stick Around
Large crowds can be intimidating for introverts. Instead of trying to compete for someone’s attention, stick around at an event or a mixer and wait for the crowd to diminish and network more comfortably. During this time you can become more familiar with your surroundings and gives yourself time to think about what you want to say so that you can be more at ease in your approach.
3. Introduce Yourself First
The old saying “ask not, want not” holds true to a lot of situations in regards to going out and getting the contacts or making the impressions professionally. There are a thousand things that could go wrong in networking situations and two thousand that could go right. The odds are in your favor when you are professional, poised and prepared. Knowing this it should be no problem introducing yourself to someone you wish to network with.
4. Network On the Web
The Internet is a powerful networking tool. Here’s a pro-tip: before you attend an event, check out the hash tag to see who is chatting about it online. It’s likely those people are also the same people who will be in the room on the day the event happens, so why not get a head start and engage them online first, that way when you meet in person there’s already a feeling of familiarity. Speaking generally, you can use online networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs and other sites to be social with professionals or people who you hope to work for or with. There are millions of opportunities and people willing to give you advice on how to get ahead. As an introvert it gets rid of the face to face jitters and gives you time to formulate what you want to say, how you want to say it, and who you’re saying it to directly.
5. Think Confident Thoughts
Confidence can take you a long way as a budding professional. Introvert or not, don’t be afraid to go after what you want if you know you have the skill and ability to achieve your goals. When it comes to confidence there are things you can do to make sure that you go into any situation putting your best foot forward. Start by thinking positively. Again there is more that you can gain than you can lose when networking so keep that in mind. Once you start thinking positive you will start to act positive and your actions will reflect these thoughts. Make sure your posture is the best it can be and set small goals that you can achieve, for instance go into an event with a goal set on how many people you want to talk to and exchange information with.
Also, don’t pack in too many events for yourself back to back. Space out your networking moments so that you don’t feel too drained or overwhelmed. In a world that is moving faster and faster every day, building your network is important to become the best professional that you can — but your personal energy and health is the most important above all.