You Got This!

An Introvert's Guide To Networking


Networking allows us to make connections and build relationships with people we share interests with. The good news is, it can be done anywhere! The challenging news is that it can feel tricky - especially as an introvert. Hershil’s tips to remember are:

  • Introverts’ strengths in networking - empathy, good listening skills and openness to ideas.
  • Networking is not about the number of events you attend or connections online.
  • Networking is a two-way street. Help your connections, and they will help you.
  • Identify your goal in networking and what benefits you want. Use this to identify people you would like to network with and be vocal about the goal when making new connections.
  • Attending meet-ups or conferences that are relevant to your goals - just like those within You Got This - can be a fantastic way to generate connections.
  • Experiment with networking tools like Monica or Clay to keep track of your connections. But don’t automate it! Keep it authentic.
  • In networking, you may receive new requests and invites. If it is not going to be beneficial to you, learn to say no. However, it may be a good idea to follow up and ask how an event went.
  • Conversation starters: asking how somebody is, what they have enjoyed about the event ask about a recent project they worked on, thank them if they ever helped you.
  • Remaining open to others: don’t be rude, allow space for others to join conversations, be the person you’d like to speak to.
  • Remember your energy balance: prioritise recovery time, take small steps, use energy to research ahead of time and save small talk.


Everything I'm going to say today can be used by all.

No matter where you are on the introvert or extrovert spectrum. I'll be sharing a framework that will help you build and maintain your network. So let's get started. Let's define networking. It's a process of making exceptions and building relationships who share a common interest. This topic of interest can be anything, it can be entrepreneurship. It can be sport. It can be a specific programming language.

You need to engage with network. Sometimes you may not get the desired outcome and remember there are various factors in play. Things don't work out your way.

Lastly networking is everywhere. Whether you're already in a queue or taking public transport for work, you can meet and connect with people everywhere.

While networking is about making new connections, for the person who identifies himself, networking can be challenging. They're considered to be -- they're considered to be shy. It's all about the energy.

We introverts spend our energy in ourselves rather than focusing on external objects. There's nothing wrong with in that. Introverts create energy from social interactions while extroverts gain energy from social interactions, I identify myself as an introvert. For me social interactions just like this take up a lot of energy. But I enjoy making new friends. For those who don't know what contentful is, it's a platform. You can use it to manage eCommerce store, knowledge base, basically anything that needs consent.

Go to my Web site. You can learn more. Moving forward. If you ask my friends where I stand on introvert or extrovert spectrum, they will say that I am not an introvert. Introvert. When I ask them why, one of the reasons they give me is network I have created over a couple years. How introvert like me can build a wonderful network. A lot of friends are introverts as well they've been able to create a successful network. They started looking into reason for this and they came across interesting things.

Number one: By default introverts are incredibly empathetic. Introverts are open to new ideas which make them a perfect team player. All this and more give introverts an advantage when it mark comes to building a network. So if you are an introvert and you were requesting your ability to build a network you know you have the skills and strengths to bummed a network. I'm not going to get into why networking is important.

Since you are listening to this talk, I'm sure you know its important and you want to better at it. I'd like to take time and talk about what networking is not.

Every person. It's not all about you. I'll come back to this later in your talk. This is not your network, once you have established a relationship with someone you will connect with them on social media platforms. But not every connection is a result of such relationship.

They might not be adding value. Please note people are different. This is by no means a definitely guide you should follow. So be prepared. Improvise while you're out there. First thing when it comes to networking is figuring out what the goal is. Why do you want to build relationship with a certain group of people or one person? How is it going to benefit you? If you're a student, you might want to network with professionals for job opportunities. Or learn what's new in the industry. Networking update new trends. Get opportunities and help you grow in your career. If you're a business you might be networking to be potential partners and grow your business. So understanding goal is pretty important.

Let's take this opportunity and think about it. Let me and others in the chat know your goal. You might find someone you can start with that or you can connect them with someone who shares the same interest. So go ahead and share your goal.

I'm going to give you some time and I'm going to take a pause. All right I'm going to move forward with the talk but please keep sending goals in the chat. Now's that you have basic idea of what you're looking for, you have a goal in mind. Next step is to make a list of all the people that are already in your network.

This can be your family, your friends, your friends of friends and your friends of family.

It's amazing, right? You already have a network. Even though you think it's small, I would say it's a start.

Once you have that list, I would recommend categorizing them. For example, I have a goal to improve my public speaking skills and give more talks at conferences. And I have a diverse network. I always -- I always follow the talks. And there are folks who are expert in technical writing. I find it useful to reach out to them when I need help or advice. While you're working on that list, you would also face a bit of difficulty like I faced that is maintaining that list.

Hence, there are only tools out there that can use and I started already using a few of them. One of the tools I use regularly is Monica best part about Monica is it also serves as a journal. This might be a good choice for you. Good part is you can have it on your own.

But don't worry. I'm not going to go into technical detail. I'm also currently trying out another tool that's clay. I found it really interesting and useful. There are features that clay has that Monica has not. For example, with clay, I can exchange my context across social media platforms. I know I mentioned that social media plat forms are the connections of social media platforms is not my network. But one thing that clay helps me is with keeping me updated with heuristics. Like if someone changes their job or if someone adds to a section on social media platforms, I get that update on Clay. And then I can reach out to that person.

Now, again, you don't have to get tied down. These are the tools that I am using and I am actually maintaining.

To get started, you can simply do Google sheet or a table or use notion for this.

This is to support you. You need to make them work for you.

On the other hand, make sure that you don't start doing the networking part. Automatic networking is this is going to be. All right. So will you now have a goal and you already might have folks who can help you achieve that goal. You might want to grow your network or if you're just starting you might want ideals on how to reach more people. You might want to grow your network or people. Or one of the core ideas is to create a diverse group of networks because more diverse network is, the more resourceful it's going to be for you.

Let's talk about how to meet new people. Most of you are doing this. Going to meetups or conferences or events.

These are the best places to find people with similar interests. Almost everyone I can think of. In my network meetups, conferences events. Friends. Now that you have a goal in mind, you can start nailing down events. You don't have to go to event to meet people. Check if it aligns with interests or goals. To nail down events ask yourselves these questions. My participation does it add value to others and be valuable to me. Expand my network and expand existing relationship.

Once you have answers for these questions, you will be able to nail down events.

vocal about goals and aspirations. The misconception that people have is that there is to hire your intentions and aspirations and not be vocal good it. I disagree. We need to understand your goal. It helps them understand you better. You can skip the small talk. A lot of introverts will encourage. If you're looking for some help otherwise, be vocal about that.

The next time you're at an event, be vocal. As humans we're more or less concerned and focus on ourselves. We are focused on our needs.

however, to build a healthy network you need to think about the interests of other persons. When a connection benefits both, it's more valuable input. Use your network to solve someone else's problem. Put it this way. Be first. Trust me, the feeling of helping others is amazing. But your world doesn't stop there. Check in with knit work is always a good idea, reaching out to folks once every three months is fine. But you don't have to mentor them every single day. Give condolences when you need it. You need to evaluate how participating in that activity you benefit. If it's not going to be beneficial, it's okay to say no.

Even though you are not participating in that activity, follow up and ask how it went.

You can have interest, be truthful about it. But never say no to opportunities to get to know your colleagues. I cannot emphasize this if you have if you have an opportunity to discuss on coffee, grab it. On contentful is my continuous effort to know my colleagues, I try my best to attend events in office. And ask yourself why you want to build a network. Keep a list of all the people interact with. All interactions you had. You can easily add text to that.

Efforts to scanned your network to expand next year to nurture existing connections, be vocal about intentions goals.

Make sure you check in for your network. It's okay to say no.

As an introvert I always run into this question of how to start a conversation. There's one more question which is you ho to keep it going.

It was -- one thing that I have learned or one important thing that I have learned has helped me and that is they are humans. It's okay. Start with a simple phase and add what you want. Remember, you should focus on the effort, not the outcome. Let me share with you a few phrases or tips that helped me approach and start a conversation with people. Ask how they're doing or how they're feeling. This one question can give you a good opening about the conversation. You -- I wouldn't expect it and this can be something which you can use to build your conversation. If you are at an event, ask them which talk or activity they enjoyed the most. Ask them how they're finding the event or what they're enjoying about the event. Ask them what they're looking forward to. If you're at a conversation, this might be a conversation target they're looking forward to so this might be a break that they really needed and looking forward to. And asking these help you learn about that person. If you're familiar with the work of that person ask about the project they're working on. They're going to help you learn what they're working on and within that conversation you would learn how enthusiastic they are. And remember, tell them if they have our help or if their work has ever inspired you. How to build your network. Let's talk about how approachable you are. Think about situations where the person will be helpful to you. Would you like that. Is this applies when you're with a group of people. As for this rule when you're in a group, make it this is your group is welcoming and you make it easier for folks to join in. If you're interested in learning more about this rule, check out that link.

Don't be rude. Keep your social media accounts updated. I'm not asking you to post every picture on Instagram. But make sure that basic information like your current role, the current company or organization you're working at and the city you reside currently is up to date. If you're looking to keep up with folks in industry, this is really, really important. Even though the other person has approached you, it is your duty to follow up. Especially when you agreed to help them.

Don't be the person you don't want to interact with. Would you like to interact with people who are rude? No. Don't be that person. Make sure you have qualities you want to see in other people as well. Now, before I conclude the talk, there are some things that I would like to share with you all. While I was working on this talk, I talked with my friends and my colleagues. And in that discussion, I realized one thing. Living in isolation for almost 18 months has changed a lot of us. A lot of people who defined themselves as extroverts have become an introvert now. People who used to get energy from social interactions now have started losing energy and that's okay.

I came across similar stories on the Internet where people who identified as extroverts were getting drained in a social setting.

If you're experiencing something similar here are a few things that can help you. If you gain energy from social interactions, drain energy from social interactions take time to recover recharge. Whether in-person. Will prioritize your time. It's okay if you can't meet everyone before attending event. Make a list of people you want to meet. The list contains four people. I met with them and I built a relationship with them. But I was exhausted after that too. Make sure you're using your energy effectively or if you simply -- one way to do this is to do your homework. Skip the small talk. Make sure you have a goal in mind. Again, remember, if the outcome is not what you expected. Make time for yourself and take time to recharge. It's okay. And always be ready to help.

Lastly, be genuine and be yourself. Thank you so much for listening to my talk. I hope it was useful. Is thank you to the You Got This for organizing this. I am looking forward to networking with you all soon. Have a nice rest of the conference.