4 Easy Networking Options for Introverts
The word “work” appears right in the middle of networking, but particularly for those of us who are introverts, making new business connections can sure seem like a chore or a bore. As a recruiter in Phoenix, I tell people (especially those who are new to the area) it’s a big small town, and you need to get out to meet people face to face. The good news is, once you start meeting people, you dramatically increase your odds of finding a job or having a job find you. Here are a four of the easy ways introverts can network without feeling too self-promotional:
1. University alumni club.
Surprisingly, I find that a lot of candidates aren’t active in or don’t even belong to the local chapter of their university alumni club. This one’s a slam dunk! These clubs are a fantastic way to meet people you already have something in common with and can talk about. The key is that your fellow alumni want you to be employed and many will be willing to assist in your pursuit of a great job. While local meetings and events are arguably the most powerful way to connect, you’ll also want to join your alumni association’s LinkedIn and Facebook groups.
2. Religious institutions.
Whether you belong to a church, synagogue, or mosque, this is another place where fellow attendees want you to succeed. If it’s a larger organization, they may even have an employment ministry.
3. Professional organizations.
I’m a big fan of professional organizations, because I can tell you from experience as a recruiter, that’s where we’re likely to look for you. Whether you attend local chapter meetings and annual conventions, or just participate online in LinkedIn and Facebook groups, you can easily make connections and friendships that will help you in your career path. For example, in our local Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) chapter, part of the regular meeting agenda is for employers to announce job openings and for members who are looking for work to introduce themselves.
4. Volunteer work.
This is another fantastic way to meet people and improve your job prospects. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the organization you’re volunteering for it’s simply that you might meet someone who knows about a job opening. The side benefit is that volunteering gets you out of the house and keeps you busy and interacting with people. It’s a no-risk way to polish your skills while doing good for the community.
The benefit for job-seeking introverts is that all of these types of organizations revolve around your interests and background. It’s the difference between a warm lead and a cold call. And most important, these are people who want to help you and see you succeed.