By Oscar Mitchall With the stiff competition in the job market and the high number of hopefuls, networking is becoming more crucial now than ever. Referrals can help you land a coveted job. And to someone who’s an introvert, this may pose a great challenge. You need not transform to that aggressive type right away just so you can grow your network, but you should be able to move out of your shell and learn to mingle with people once in a while.
People often assume that introverts are antisocial, but this is not true. These individuals are quite the opposite. They enjoy solitude and small groups. They prefer to get to know new people and talk at a leisurely pace. However, they hate small talk, which can create barriers between them and others.
Moreover, social gatherings drain their energy and focus. They also dislike loud noises. Therefore, they prefer to spend time alone in their rooms.
While it’s true that introverts are generally not outgoing, they can be a great therapist or psychologist. These individuals are very compassionate and sensitive to the feelings of others. This trait makes them excellent counselor or therapists because they can easily empathize with their clients. They are also able to handle social anxiety and learn to deal with social situations without becoming a hermit. One of the reasons why introverts do not like group settings is that they don’t do well in groups. Although they appear bored, they can be a good listener.
Many introverts are good observers. Their quiet nature allows them to notice details that others might overlook. They do not judge other people while observing them. Because of this, introverts are able to trust other people with their secrets and don’t feel compelled to join in popular trends. Thus, they have a high tolerance for silence. If you have a friend who is an introvert, it is a good idea to hang out with them.
Observation and writing skills are among the strengths of introverts. They have deep thoughts and creative questions and are excellent at mapping the world. Because they are able to understand other people’s emotions, they are likely to be the most effective caregivers. They often prefer to be alone, because they don’t like interruptions. Nevertheless, they need to be aware of their own feelings, and they are best placed to do this.
Those who are more introverted than other people are unlikely to be shy. Often, they are sensitive to negative evaluations. As a result, they avoid conflict and do not like to participate in group projects. If they are in a conflict, they will stand up their family and friends. A close friend will not be a threat to an introvert. It is their loyalty to family that makes them stand out amongst their peers.
Despite their need for solitude, introverts need social interaction. They may not hate social gatherings, but they need “me time” to recharge. They also need time alone, but they aren’t necessarily antisocial. They just need a little “me” time to relax. If they don’t have the chance to spend time with their friends, it might be better to avoid them altogether. When it comes to socializing, an introvert will often prefer to stay at home.
During networking events when participants ought to interact with each other, you cannot just stay in one corner and kill time watching the scene around your progress. You should get yourself out there.
Here are a few ways you can network and feel comfortable about it.
Don’t worry. You need not act talkative to be accepted. Being a good listener is more important than being the talker in the conversation. No one would like to get stuck speaking with someone who thinks they have established a close bond with the person right away when they have just met. Let the person speak, allow them to take the floor. Share when you’re asked, but never monopolize.
Extend extra effort reaching out to people even before the event starts. This way, you automatically earn excuses for approaching someone especially if you have already been exchanging emails or coordinating about the event. You also wouldn’t have to start from scratch introducing yourself.
In case you are allowed to invite a friend, do take someone with you so you will not have to feel alone. Together, approach someone on the floor for some talking. Once you have gained confidence and are ready to navigate the crowd, then separate from your pal and explore on your own. Later you can meet up and introduce to each other people you have met.
Getting there on time keeps you from attracting unnecessary attention and also makes it easier for you to talk to people. The crowd has not formed sub-groups yet, so you can approach anyone without the fear of not belonging.
For introverts and perhaps even those who claim they are not, approaching someone and introducing himself can be difficult. The solution to this is to find a spot that draws traffic, say the food table. Here, while lining up with the rest of the attendees, you will be able to strike up a conversation with someone with less effort. You can simply say hi to the person next to you and ask about the food. Another strategy is to find clues on similar interests among the guests and take it from there. For instance, you are following a particular shoe designer and you see someone wearing one item you love from their collection. Then do greet them saying you adore their shoes.
As much as you enjoy talking to a person, you cannot stick to one guy during the entire course of the event. You will have to talk to others too. This means you will need to make a graceful exit on every conversation you say goodbye to. Remember to exchange contact details with the person and be courteous as you excuse yourself.
This is the most important thing that you should do in networking events. While it helps that you do some brushing up on current events just so you do not feel lost, do not forget about your identity – the music, sport, and movies you prefer. You may not get everyone’s approval, but you can be sure people are going to like you for who you are.
Oscar Mitchall is a professional coursework writer, based in LA. He is always ready to provide students with interesting, high-quality, and inspiring writing on any topic and share his insights with a wide audience, so don’t miss the chance to expand your horizons.
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