Your career success hinges on your ability to network with people and promote your professional self. For introverts, both of these things can be challenging.
The idea of attending a networking event is enough to make some introverts sick, as is the thought of boasting about one’s accomplishments in an interview. Luckily, social media make it easier to both build connections and show off one’s professional expertise.
Here are some ways in which social media can help introverts in finding career success.
Social media can facilitate conversations
My friend Lea Marino says that social media are great for making introductions and facilitating conversations. I agree. If you identify someone you’d like to meet, you can develop rapport online and eventually carry that over to a phone or in-person conversation. You don’t have to cold-contact people anymore; you can warm up relationships through social media first. This makes things easier for people who get nervous about the introductory contact and ensuing small talk.
Social media give you time to think about your responses
In social media, there is little pressure to respond immediately, as you would be expected to do in a face-to-face conversation. Many times, introverts aren’t very good at formulating witty comebacks or quick retorts on the fly. In certain face-to-face social situations, this may make them feel like they can’t keep up with the pace of conversation. (I feel like this sometimes.) Social media give you time to compose appropriate responses which can be sent 5 minutes or 5 hours later.
Social media let you delve into a niche
Introverts are known for being able to converse in great depth on subjects they’re passionate about. Social media allow you to connect with other people who are passionate about the same things as you. Not only is this a way to constantly learn about your field, it’s is a great way to build professional relationships. Once you establish yourself as a household name in your field, you’ll be sure to hear about job opportunities as they come up.
Social media provide a window into your mind
Introverts live in the world of ideas. These ideas are not always translated into the spoken word. For instance, I am quiet in group settings. Usually I have major dialogues going in my mind, but only certain parts are voiced aloud because I think carefully about what I want to say. Sometimes I’m not able to say everything I’m thinking, especially when meetings are dominated by extroverts. With social media (blogging in particular), you can reveal the insights that you have. When a hiring manager searches for your name and finds your intelligent ideas, he/she will be impressed.
These are just a few ways that social media can help introverts for career advancement. How have you used social media to jump-start your career?
Dan Klamm is the Outreach & Marketing Coordinator for Syracuse University Career Services. In his position, he is responsible for student engagement with Career Services. This includes managing the marketing campaigns for events and programs, leading social media initiatives, and fostering relationships with people across campus to build awareness of the office. Connect with him on Twitter @DanKlamm and LinkedIn.