The Art of Networking: Introvert Edition

An introvert is typically characterized as an individual who focuses on internal feelings rather than external sources of stimulation. An introvert is typically drained by being around too many people, enjoys solitude, and naturally learns through observation. For individuals who identify as introverts, it can be difficult to network because networking requires opening up to others, which expends energy. It is well known that the legal profession is quite social and requires a certain level of relationship-building that is typically created through networking. Because of this dynamic, it is important for an introvert to get comfortable with networking.

Identifying as an introvert does not mean networking has to be a painful experience. Here are three quick tips for successful networking:

1. Do not get overwhelmed.

Half the battle is mentally preparing yourself for the networking event. Often times, an introvert is exhausted by just the thought of networking, so it is important to take the process of networking one step at a time. This means do not overthink the event and do not go into the event with a negative mindset.

2. Prepare for the event.

Preparation is a great way to alleviate some of the pressures of a social event. Think about what you want to get out of the experience and think about why you are attending the event. If the event has a list of the attendees, familiarize yourself with them so you can know exactly who you want to connect with and why. Also, if you are able to put a face to the name, this often helps you to feel more relaxed, and it helps to take away some of the uncertainty.

3. Be yourself.

At the end of the day, you can only be you. It is important to stay true to yourself and to understand that you must network in a manner that is helpful for you. Also, always know that you are never the only introvert in the room. By being yourself, you will likely be able to make organic connections, and those are often the most impactful.

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