Five Great Ways That Introverts Can Succeed at Networking

If you are an introvert, you are born with a temperament that craves to be alone, delights in meaningful connections, thinks before speaking and observes before approaching. -  Aletheia Luna, Quiet Strength: Embracing, Empowering and Honoring Yourself as an Introvert

Does that quote speak to you? Introverts often struggle with navigating the bustling, extroverted world of networking. Good news: success is still possible! Read on to learn about five networking tips for introverts that you can use to leverage your talent and personality.

  1. Make a plan. Before attending a networking event, write down a few tasks or goals you want to meet. They may be to introduce yourself to one stranger, or find out more about a particular company. No matter how small the tasks may seem, they can still help you leave with a sense of accomplishment--and maybe a confidence boost!

  2. Research early. If you already know who will be in attendance and what you want to discuss, contact them in advance. Reach out with a brief but polite email to introduce yourself and let them know you're interested in talking with them. You can even Facebook stalk them ahead of time to get some small-talk ideas!

  3. Be an introvert. You don't have to pretend to be a loud, gregarious person if that is not who you really are. As an introvert, you have excellent listening skills and shine in one-on-one conversations. You can put this to use, even in a networking setting. Sometimes letting other people talk, while remaining quiet and listening with interest, can make a positive impression. A brief but meaningful exchange with only one person may be more impactful than charming a large group.

  4. Be aware of your body. Keep your body language relaxed and friendly, and don't be afraid to make eye contact. Hold a drink, pamphlet, or pad of paper in your hands so you can keep your hands busy without fidgeting.

  5. Host your own events. Host a smaller dinner party with a few close friends or colleagues that you would like to introduce to each other. Meet up with someone one-on-one over coffee. You may accomplish your goals better if you use settings and activities more aligned with your personality.

As an introvert, you have a special set of personality traits and skills. It's time to get out there and use them to your advantage!