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12 Networking Tips for Shy and Anti-Social IT Pros

Rich Hein | Feb. 20, 2013
Being an introvert isn't the end of the world or your career. However, to be successful in the IT field today, you've got to overcome shyness and learn that it's OK to ask for (and offer) help.

Maybe it's some SEO advice to help increase web presence or thoughts on software or hardware someone is considering purchasing. Ask yourself what are my strengths? You've got something to offer. You just have to figure out what it is.

4. Keep It Simple

"If you are just beginning to network, start with those people closest to you and those who make you feel most comfortable. Leads and contacts can come from family members, friends, neighbors, alumni, and co-workers," says Sampson.

5. Build a Networking Strategy

The xext step after you've thought about what you have to offer people in your network is to come up with a networking strategy, according to Valeras. For the introverted, starting small is often the best practice according to experts.

"You may be more comfortable starting one-on-one. To get one-on-one meetings, create a list of places where you can find people, says Valeras. Here are seven steps that may help:

Assess Your Strengths--So you know how you can share.

Start One-on-One-- For those of us who are shy this is often the easiest route.

Create a List of Places Where You Can Find People-- This list could include alumni associations, professional associations, health clubs, family and friends

Categorize Each Person--Base this on whether the connections are easy, moderate, or challenging to make.

Set Guidelines-- Detail whom you will call, how many people you will contact per week, and how you will approach them.

Be Prepared-- Research the person's credentials and connections. Develop a "want" for each contact so you are clear on what you want to communicate and how they can help you succeed. Prior to each meeting, script a list of questions.

Thank Your contacts

6. Join Online Groups and Communities

"For individuals who are timid about face-to-face contact, the Internet can serve as an ideal networking avenue. This helps job seekers to gain confidence and build relationships prior to meeting in person, says Sampson.

The rise of social media has made it much easier to find like-minded professionals to network and share ideas with. While Facebook reigns supreme there are other social networks that may be more relevant to your situation-- like LinkedIn for example, which even has groups such as Shy Busters or Toastmasters where people share stories and tips for overcoming shyness and adversity.

"Ensure that you always maintain a professional presence with your online profiles," says Sampson. There are entire websites dedicated to the stupid things people do on Facebook. Don't be one of those people who when being interviewed has to explain comments or pictures in your online profiles.

7. Do What You Say You Are Going to Do


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