You may feel that you have a disadvantage as an introvert because though job search isn’t easy for anyone it is harder for introverts. The definition of introverts is often confused with shyness but the true definition is related to where you get your energy:
Where do you put your attention and get your energy? Do you like to spend time in the outer world of people and things (Extraversion), or in your inner world of ideas and images (Introversion)?
When you look at being an introvert from that perspective, it changes things. My husband and I are polar opposites. I am happiest in groups of two or three or even being alone. I delight in solitary activities like writing, reading, and researching. My business is built on a collaborative process but it is with myself and the client, not large groups, whereas my husband enjoys being out in crowds and large groups and suffocates if he has to stay put too long. He volunteers for errands and assignments that take him out and about. He is drawn to fairs, concerts, events, and gatherings while I would rather stay home.
How to make networking work for an introvert
If you are an introvert like me, the idea of what most people think of networking, groups or gatherings, has no appeal.
- However, the best networking is establishing a one-on-one connection.
- Most introverts feel comfortable in a one-on-one setting but they don’t feel as comfortable in a larger group (unless they are in charge — many introverts function well if they have a job to do, running an event, teaching, leading a group.)
- However, if they can establish a one-on-one conversation with just a few people at a larger gathering, it will work for them.
Leverage social media as an introvert as a networking tool
Social media works well for networking with introverts because they can do it from the comfort of their own space. However, to be effective networking, you need to take the social interaction on social media to a real life interaction. Networking with someone across the country can be done with a phone call or Skype or WebEx. It brings that interaction to a more instantaneous response.
Acknowledge that you are an introvert and seek roles that fit
If you are an introvert, it is much easier to deal with if you acknowledge that this is your personality. Too many introverts are deemed shy because they function better either alone or in small groups. They like to work alone too and will thrive if allowed the privacy to do their work. Once you acknowledge that this is who you are, you can be honest with others. My husband knows that it isn’t me being difficult or standoffish when I don’t enjoy large events.
Julie Walraven is a triple-certified resume writer whose interactive coaching style helps job seekers earn winning positions when she creates tactical resumes and LinkedIn profiles to market you for success. Learn more here.