5 mins read

Effective Networking Strategies for Introverts

While it can sound a little scary for us introverts, there are a bunch of ways to network that won’t take you too far outside your comfort zone. If you’re looking to build your social skills and professional connections, all while kickstarting your dream career, read on! We’ve got a comprehensive guide to getting you started.

Is Networking Actually That Important?

In one word: yes. In multiple words, networking is the best way to gain insider insights into your dream industry and form relationships that will serve you for the rest of your career!

Our best tip is to start as soon as you can. The earlier you start drawing on professional insights, the sooner you’ll be set up for your dream job! Whether you’re doing it on LinkedIn, in person or wherever else you feel so inclined, networking is always worth it.

Where Does Networking Happen?

Even those who want to run head-first into networking environments don’t always know how to get amongst the networking scene. However, it’s not that hard to find! Even if you’re not getting invited to those elusive VIP networking events (and don’t worry, we’re not either), there are plenty of places to do it.


LinkedIn is the platform for expanding your professional network, and it’s super easy to use, too! Once you’ve built up your profile, start connecting with all the professionals in your dream industry. Chances are, a bunch will accept your invitation, and you’ll be well on your way to having a fully-fledged network!

Pro tip: for advice on LinkedIn profile building, check out our blog on personal branding. Not to toot our own horn, but it’s pretty good.

Career Days

If you’re still at high school, your school will likely run career days. By getting amongst the action and putting your best foot forward, you can use these events to network with incredible pros who want to help launch your career.
When meeting up with new people, make sure you flex your social skills by actively listening, smiling and asking relevant questions. You never know just how far a handshake could take you!

Work Events

For those of you who are already working in entry-level roles, all kinds of work events serve as perfect opportunities for networking (and schmoozing). Whether it’s a Christmas Party or a celebratory work hang-out, dedicate some time to getting to know the higher-ups in your company. They’re full of useful advice on how to progress within your company!

Student Researching

A Beginner’s Guide to Networking Strategies

Use Your Network to Start Networking

It sounds a little redundant, right? When you’re just starting to network, it’s normal to think that you don’t already have valuable professional connections. However, we’re, willing to bet that isn’t entirely true.

Maybe your parents or family friends know people working in your dream industry. Perhaps your bestie’s parents or your teachers do too. By checking in and asking for introductions from people you’re already comfortable with, you might just meet a valuable industry contact.

Once you’ve done this a couple of times, you’ll begin feeling way more comfortable, and the snowball effect will start taking place. Essentially, the more connections you make, the more people can introduce you to new contacts! What’s more, your social skills will keep getting better with every connection; all you need to do is stay persistent.

Have Talking Points and Icebreakers at the Ready

Introverts are famous for hating small talk, and when you’re going into a networking environment unprepared, you’re basically setting yourself up for dull weather chat. Not only will this be painfully boring, but it also won’t help you expand your professional knowledge.

Before entering a networking environment, figure out what you want to learn and who you want to connect with. That way, you’ll be well-equipped to craft some compelling talking points. Being prepared is a great way to impress your professional connections and show them that you’re serious about your career, too!

If you can’t think of a good opener, we’ve got your back. Try out some of these to start with:

  • Hi _____! I’m interested in the [insert their industry] and I’ve seen some of the great work you’ve been doing with [insert project], do you have time to run me through some of your strategies?
  • Hi, my name is _____, I’m just starting out in the [insert industry] and I’d love to hear more about your experience. Would you be open to having a chat with me?

Fine-Tune Your Listening Skills

For many introverts, one of the scariest parts of networking is the amount of talking they think they’ll have to do. If you’ve ever worried about running out of things to say, we might have the solution for you.

When you’re networking with professional connections who have more experience than you do, they’ll likely be doing most of the talking. Thus, the most important thing for you to do isn’t coming up with extra talking points; it’s to listen and ask natural follow-up questions.

Once this knowledge sinks in, networking becomes a lot less scary. All you need to do is realise that the pressure isn’t really on you!

Use Psychology to Your Advantage

Author Susan Cain wrote an amazing book called ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking,’ which describes how introverts can best engage with other people. While all introverts should check it out, we’ll give you a little run down to get you started:

An idea she calls the ‘Free Trait Theory’ poses that by selecting industries, topics and projects that align with our personal values and interests, introverts can avoid burnout in professional situations. Basically, if you’re talking about the things you really care about in professional situations, you’re much more likely to make a great impression and enjoy the networking process!

P.S. She also talks about how important it is for introverts to recharge after stressful interactions, so make sure you’re looking after yourself and not overdoing it.

Networking Strategy Guide

Be Kind to Yourself

Our final tip is perhaps the most important; go easy on yourself! When you’re starting out on your networking journey, there are bound to be a couple of awkward moments, but they’re not worth beating yourself up over. Established professionals know what it’s like to be in your shoes, so they won’t fault you for it and you shouldn’t either!

With all this in mind, we think it’s time you embarked on your networking journey. Create that LinkedIn profile, message that aunt who has a connection in your dream industry and make yourself some cue cards on talking points (just make sure you don’t use the actual cards in person). You’ve got this!

Next Steps

Ready to put your networking skills to good use? Find a career event happening near you!

Not quite sure what industry you want to explore? Discover your ideal industry or take our career quiz to find out.


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