Everybody hates networking, but no one expresses their disgust more intensely than introverts. (I’m sure some of you already despise this post!)
There’s a myth that introverts are shy people.
They can be both shy and introverted, but these things are not one and the same.
Introversion merely refers to how you recharge.
Extraverts recharge through being with people.
Introverts recharge by being alone.
So as long as you leave enough room to recharge, you, as a mighty introvert, can network just fine, and come out on top.
But I’ll go a step further.
I would venture to say that introverts have a superpower when networking.
The thing about introverts is, though they may get drained by being in crowds, they deeply, deeply appreciate connecting with people 1 on 1, perhaps more than extroverts do.
Meaningful engagement is the eternal objective of introverts: finding that specific type of interaction that has clear give-and-take with plenty of room for deeper introspection.
Networking can be exactly this. Indeed, it works best in the form of fewer, richer interactions.
And, contrary to common belief, it fails miserably when it’s used as a platform to talk about oneself.
One slow, balanced conversation with one person.
You don’t have to be “on.”
You just have to be there.