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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Networking for Introspective and Introverted People

from a comment I left on The Brazen Careerist blog...revised a little...

As a shy, introspective and introverted person who has been in two careers that require lots of group time and focus-on-others time, my primary advice is this: make it about them. If you are introverted you do not draw your energy from the crowd or from others. You have to know that as you consider and approach networking. Your instinct will always be toward anti-networking, or networking in an anti-face-to-face manner. Base level anxiety can over come that, but the process will be excruciating. Likewise introspection will have you analyzing everything you do and say. Did I come off as self serving? Am I just "working" the crowd? As an introspective person you will not be able to live with yourself if you answer "yes" to those questions, which you likely will. Thus, for you your networking needs a different purpose, a purpose that has meaning for you and that you can live with. Embrace the purpose that you are not the real point of your networking. In motive and in action network in order to get to know other people for their sake, to offer ways to connect other people to each other for their sake, to celebrate the myriad ways people are trying to make it out there. Do that and you will have slain the number one most deadly stench of networking, the thing others can smell a mile away, and the thing from which others run unless they see their own selfish angle, and which you would hate to see in yourself - and that is the stench of self promotion.

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