Social Media and the Introvert’s Position of Strength
Many introverts are misunderstood. They’re not shy. They’re not anti-social and they don’t dislike people. They’re simply quiet and reflective and love their private time because it gives them an energy boost.
Networking can be exhausting for an introvert, but a hesitation to do it can stunt career growth.
If you’re looking to make changes in your career or venture out into the entrepreneurial world, active networking is beneficial. Networking builds solid relationships over time. It allows you to meet people who you can assist as well as those who can return the favor when you need it.
Some networking benefits include:
- Gathering insider info on your industry
- Gaining a source of fresh ideas
- Bouncing your latest ideas off people
- Gaining a flow of clients and customers
- Raising your profile
- Opening new doors
- Widening your support network
All good stuff but you won't push yourself to do it when networking fatigues you.
That’s where social media comes in. Technology has become a BFF for introverts. Social media is a perfect medium that simplifies communication. Technology and social media platforms have empowered the introvert to connect and communicate ideas without the pressure of face-to-face interactions.
For anyone who has found it difficult to walk up to a person and introduce yourself, striking up an initial online conversation puts you at ease because the apprehension of talking to someone face-to-face becomes far less daunting. LinkedIn has become a great tool for facilitating crucial conversation – including those dreaded introductions. It is an effective way to navigate the introduction in a low-key, yet professional manner.
If you have something to say, many introverts find it easier to offer thoughts and ideas through written communication. Online engagement gives you the time to construct a well thought-out response without the pressure of being put on the spot with face-to-face discussions.
The gregarious extrovert can vocally overpower an introvert if they’re not careful. Social media puts the introvert on equal footing in a world that can sometimes be extrovert-driven. As a result, the introvert can spend their energy showcasing their creative and strategic strengths instead of feeling like their voice is minimized.
The downside is that online networking shouldn’t be a crutch that keeps you chained in your comfort zone. It shouldn’t be a replacement for in-person conversations that can form significant relationships. You’ll eventually need to attend some face-to-face meetings but using technology by playing to your strength gives you less worry about being left behind when the whole world seems to be touting the benefits of networking.
You can still gain the benefits – but it’s on your terms.
I’d love to hear from the rest of the introverts. Do you find it easier to communicate with people online versus offline? How do you network?
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Johnston Osburn is a Career and Life Coach who helps people turn dreams into realities. After years as a Global Talent Acquisition Professional, she realized how frequently people limit themselves because they lack belief in their abilities. They are afraid to dream, let alone dream big. [...]