The Interesting Introvert: Networking for People Who Hate Networking
@MDMusgrave #OHSAtweets The Interesting IntrovertNetworking for People Who Hate Networking Matthew D. Musgrave, M.Ed. Residence Hall Director Kent State University INFP
@MDMusgrave #OHSAtweetsWhat is an Introvert? Obviously, opposite of an extrovert/extravert Inwardly-reflective Drained by large social gatherings Energized by alone time Fewer close friends “Think to talk” Famous Introverts: Einstein, Da Vinci, QE2, Carson, Buffet, Roberts, MLK, Jordan How do you define your introversion?
@MDMusgraveWhat is networking? #OHSAtweets The art of building, maintaining connections for shared positive outcomes Allows you to establish relationships; build trust People hire people they know and trust Opportunities are all around! School, conference socials, meals, and parties Standing in line Sitting on a bus, subway, or airplane Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn); e-mail
How Networking is Intimidating What makes you nervous about networking? “Forced” conversations Making the initial connection Seems disingenuous (only there to “put your name out there”) Having to talk with dozens of people in order to have made an impact Physical/Mental exhaustion Dealing with stress @MDMusgrave Mental “over-processing” #OHSAtweets
@MDMusgraveStart Small #OHSAtweets “Drill deep” – establish connections early on through email; social networking Focus on schools that you feel would be “best fit” Send prospective employers clarifying questions to assess that fit Narrows your focus Prepares you for your interview Social networks are where employer shows “true colors” Twitter hashtag conversations (#SAchat; #SAgrad) Join regional, national organizations Attend and volunteer at conferences
@MDMusgraveLarge Group Networking #OHSAtweets Unavoidable part of networking Relax! You are not on display (even though it may feel that way) Don’t worry about the interview – focus on relationship building Look and feel your best – confidence is key! Set realistically achievable goals Reward yourself for achieving these goals Bring a friend, but don’t use him/her as a crutch
@MDMusgraveStay Small #OHSAtweets Thrive in a one-on-one environment Schedule 1:1 lunches with prospective employers, connections Connect with other introverts – they will be happy to not have to extend themselves Arrive early Make connections before groups form, solidify Connect with others in a quiet environment
Be a “Host,” Not a “Guest” “Guests” wait to be told what to do; where to go “Hosts” focus on, attend to the needs of others Reduces shyness; feels more genuine; not an imposition You can assess what an employer’s needs are; address how you can meet them Compliments help to break the ice Use “inviting” body language – SMILE!
@MDMusgraveSmall Talk #OHSAtweets If you’re prepared, you won’t have awkward gaps of silence Ask questions that interest you Practice answering those questions as well, be detailed, but not overly so Examples What have you enjoyed most about this conference? What did you enjoy about it? What brought you to this conference/session? LISTEN – don’t get distracted watching for other chances to network
@MDMusgraveFollow the ROAD #OHSAtweets Relationships – Who is important to them (friends, family, co-workers)? Occupation – What do they do in their role? Activities – What do they do for fun (outside of their position)? Drive – What motivates them? What do they most like about their work? You don’t have to be the life of the party, just be yourself!
@MDMusgraveTake Breaks! #OHSAtweets Easily the most important advice – AVOID BURNOUT After 2-3 conversations, take 5-15 minutes to simply sit and catch your breath It can be more/less, depending on how you feel Write thank you notes Jot key info on business cards – useful for follow- up Text a friend for encouragement Check email, voicemail, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
@MDMusgrave #OHSAtweetsEnding the Conversation It’s okay to move on! Networking is natural in our field Social events at placement – people expect you to do this Don’t use the bathroom excuse unless that’s what you need to do Be honest Thank them (by name) for the conversation, shake their hand and get a card “I promised myself I’d circulate the room, but it’s been great talking with you. Do you have a card?” “I’m sure you want to connect with other people tonight, so I’ll let you go. Do you have a card?”
@MDMusgraveAfter the Event #OHSAtweets Don’t beat yourself up over missteps Follow-up with the people you met within 1-3 days Let your email fill in the gaps that you missed Create the opportunity for further connections Reward yourself for your accomplishments Take a deep breath and relax – you overcame a huge hurdle