Before I dive in to this post, I want to note that I recognize that on the surface the clear connection to networking for introverts and chronic illnesses may not seem apparent. While I don't think that every single introvert has generalized anxiety, I would assume that enough of my fellow introverts do. And considering that a lot of my anxiety stems from mineral, hormonal, and biochemical imbalances thanks to my chronic illnesses, I think that this topic may be helpful to my readers. So, here goes!
Ah, networking. It’s a buzzword, a commonplace piece of advice that’s doled out at panels, and also a very beneficial skill to hone if you want to “make it” in this world. For some, it’s their time to shine in the limelight and work their magic amongst potential professional connections, and for others it can be anxiety-inducing and full of dread. Regardless of where you fall, it goes without saying that networking is important no matter what profession you’re in, considering most people find and land jobs thanks to the help of their connections.
But what if you’re introverted, shy, or have social anxiety? Does that mean that you’re doomed to be jobless or end up in a job that you hate? Well never fear, because I’m here to tell you that you can still be a rockstar at networking as an introvert; I’m living proof.
I like to describe myself as an extroverted introvert, but I’m also a little awkward and struggle with small talk, so the combination didn’t make me a grade-A networker at the start. But with a little work and taking baby steps to push myself outside of my comfort zone, I can now go to networking events without wanting to put a paper bag over my head or avoid them completely.
Want to check out the rest of this article and read up on the five things that have helped me network as an introvert? Then you'll have to head on over to my dear friend Rachel's website, Rachel L. Macon, where this post was originally featured.