Even Introverts Can Network
Forty-nine percent of all job seekers find their new job through referrals, someone they know, or someone they just met! Clearly people who are good at networking and meeting new people have an edge when it comes to landing a new position. Extroverts — people who get their energy from being around other people — usually find this process “second nature.” For many others, approaching complete strangers; or attending meetings where you know no one and just striking up a conversation with anyone and everyone can be intimidating!
Introverts — people who get their energy from data and spending time alone — can find networking tedious and even frightening. I worked with a young man last year who had graduated with a degree in biomedical engineering. Because he did not have an internship during college he found it difficult to find a job in his field. Clearly he needed new contacts and lots of them! One of the best venues for meeting people in your future field is a meeting of a professional organization.
This young man attended a meeting of professionals in the medical device field. He found out how easy it was to meet new people and make contacts with people interested and involved in his chosen profession. Young adults have a very important advantage; adults want to help! He collected several business cards and offers to make introductions. In addition he had his own business cards with contact information to pass out and he had also prepared and practiced a “script” to introduce himself. The script included:
- His name
- His degree and school
- His passion and a quick summary of qualifications for the position he is looking for
Needless to say, networking with a “prepared plan” helped him land his first job as a Quality Engineer at a large pharmaceutical company.
If you are introverted…
- Understand that people have been there themselves and want to help you…you just have to let them know
- Find the appropriate venues to network, to meet the people in your chosen field
- Create a script for yourself so you are prepared and don’t forget your important information
- Realize that many people in your chosen field will have a personality just like yours. They’ll get it.
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