Apr 02, 2016 08:40 AM EDT

How Introverts Can Network

By R S Ali

The percentage of employees that believe networking helped them land their jobs is very high. So networking is an established vital tool in job searching. But networking relies on a person being outgoing and friendly and confident, and not all of us possess those traits. So Monster suggests some tips for the naturally shy job-searcher.

For people who aren't used to being social, the very idea of networking can cause them a lot of stressful anxiety. Large groups of people scare us - a lot -and some of us would rather do anything to avoid the meeting and greeting part of work.

The good news for introverts, however, is that networking is about a lot more than just about working a crowd. In fact, there are qualities that introverts are usually likely to have that can come in handy when networking - like that they are good listeners.  

Networking is, in essence, about building relationships. This doesn't necessarily have to follow the model of large room group events - it can be done one-on-one, too.

Following are things that are right up a shy person's alley and they involve networking too!

1. Widen your net
Don't just assume networking is solely a tool for a job search. Sure, that is the eventual goal, but it is not always a linear, direct process.

Instead, networking should work as a mutual exchange. You help people, they help you when you need it. If you're too shy to ask, try doing someone else a favor. You might feel better about accepting their help once you are doing or have done something for them first.

2. Volunteering at events
This takes the pressure of having to schmooze off you: you're there at the event, but not as a guest. You're already there for a purpose and you have a job (a temporary one) already. Now if you happen to have some networking done while you're there, so much the better. 

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