A Guide for Introverts: How to Build a Professional Network

You want to develop your network but don't dare to take the initiative? Talk with strangers seems insurmountable to you? Do you hate sem...

You want to develop your network but don't dare to take the initiative? Talk with strangers seems insurmountable to you? Do you hate seminars and run away from cocktails? Discover in this article how to build robust and lasting professional relationships, whatever your temperament and goals are. A valuable tool to make yourself known, recognize and boost your career.

One suggestion is to have brief conversations with few people during the event and then look for meetings for a more relaxed atmosphere. 

A Guide for Introverts: How to Build a Professional Network

How to build a professional network from scratch?

Every week, I invite you to another "must-see" business event that will surely be full of talented people that could influence my company. I know I should attend, but it's annoying. Very often, I end up standing in a corner, clinging to the only person I know, feeling guilty about not taking advantage of the situation.

Recently, I attended a breakfast for women, which was held in a huge cellar near a pier. I went through the door and picked up the label with my name to face a room of 1200 women dressed in many colors and with lots of energy. It seemed like everyone was having fun.

And now that? Do I know anyone? If I stay here alone will people think I'm weird? I felt a tightness in my chest.

I suspect that many of us have an unfortunate time at these events, but few admit it. Everyone smiles and walks around the place shaking hands, laughing and exchanging business cards. But the truth is, some of us feel uncomfortable, and we approach people who talk, not knowing if we should participate in a group or move away.

How To Build A Powerful Professional Network

That's me. I have created a robust work network and have convinced Google, eBay, Twitter and Facebook leaders to support my emerging venture so they could assume that I am an expert in socializing. But the truth is that I am introverted and have had problems with professional socialization for years. I'd rather be at home reading a book.

However, I recognize the importance of this type of activity, so I strive for it... mainly because some casual encounters at events have become relationships that have made all the difference for my business. I like to do things well. That's why I have developed techniques that help me establish relationships and improve, or even enjoy, the process of cultivating contacts. If you also have problems with these situations, here are some ideas that could be helpful.

Have brief conversations with many people

I find it difficult to establish lasting connections in events. Instead, I try to have short conversations with as many people as possible and make sure I have your contact information so I can follow up later.

If I see someone I want to talk to, kindly approach me and say, "Sorry to interrupt, but such and such a person told me that I should know you. I have to go in a bit, and I just wanted your business card to contact you later. " It's hard enough for people to say no when you say something like that.

After the event, I contact them, and I agree to go to lunch or have a cup of coffee. That is an environment in which I feel much more comfortable.

Concentrate on what you do well

Although large informal groups seem to me to be a challenge, I know that I'm doing well with formal presentations and one-person talks. Instead of worrying about my inability to be charming at events with large groups, I focus on my more natural ability to talk to one person and do it openly. If you're excellent at chatting with a person, that's all you need to create a professional network.

It is about establishing a few close relationships

Some people have hundreds or thousands of people in their professional network. In addition to social networks, where I do not know most of the people I'm supposed to be connected with, I would say that my nearby network of work includes about fifteen people, but all of them are special. Every year, I know about one to three individuals who turn out to be fabulous. It's never about what a person can do for me, but to realize that I have found someone who can teach me something valuable. Almost all the right things that have come to me come from one of these fifteen people.

Introverts have different strengths. I spent years thinking it should be different, speak louder, be more funny, more extroverted. Now I recognize the need to be grateful for the talents I do have.

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