For Women in Law By Women in Law

Networking for Introverts

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Expanding professional networks as an introvert can be challenging, but there are effective strategies that can make the process less daunting and more manageable. Here are five networking tips that I, a fellow introvert, consistently utilize to nurture and expand my professional relationships:


1. Use Online Networking Platforms

Online platforms such as LinkedIn are an excellent way for introverts to connect with professionals both in and outside of their industry. Online platforms allow for thoughtful, well-crafted communication without the immediate pressure of face-to-face interactions. They are a useful way to keep your network updated on your professional milestones and to connect with others over mutual topics of interest.

Tip: Start by joining groups related to your practice and participate in interesting discussions. Share articles, comment on posts, and send connection requests with personalized messages.


2. Prepare and Practice

As we’re increasingly expected to return to in-person networking events, spending a little time preparing for such events can significantly reduce our anxiety. If it’s possible, I review the list of attendees before an event, noting key individuals whose interests or backgrounds seem to align with my own as a starting point for conversation. I also have 4-6 general questions in the back of my mind that are suitable to ask any person at any event to keep conversation flowing. People generally like to talk about themselves (it’s human nature), so I ask questions touching on a variety of topics with the intent of getting to know the person better in order to foster an authentic connection.

Tip: Develop a brief, engaging elevator pitch about yourself and your professional background. Prepare a handful of general interest questions designed to get to know someone better – i.e., questions about a person’s family, spouse, hobbies, work (current and past), education, travel, future plans, etc.


3. Focus on One-on-One Conversations

Introverts often find one-on-one interactions more comfortable than large group settings. Individual or small group interactions allow for deeper connections and more meaningful conversations. If I must attend a large event, which we all inevitably do for work, then I focus on speaking to people individually or in smaller groups. It’s also nice to remind myself in large group settings that there is likely another introvert nearby, so I’m not alone in feeling uncomfortable.

Tip: Organize to meet with colleagues and professionals over coffee or in small lunch gatherings.


4. Follow Up and Stay Connected

Building a network is not just about the initial meeting, it’s also about nurturing those connections over time. Following on from my previous points – because there is never enough time to talk to everyone I’d like to at larger events – I follow up with missed connections via LinkedIn or email after the event and invite them to coffee or lunch to foster a comfortable interaction. Remaining connected and engaged with your network also does not take a lot of effort, especially if you use online platforms such as LinkedIn. We all understand we’re all busy people, so checking in with someone only 1-2 times a year goes a long way in solidifying that professional relationship.

Tip: Send a personalized thank you email or message highlighting something specific from your previous conversation. Periodically share useful articles, congratulate them on professional milestones, or simply check in to maintain the relationship.


5. Attend Events with a Purpose

Lastly, choose networking events that align with your interests and professional goals. Specialized events are often less intimidating to attend since the topic or purpose of the event provides plenty of conversation starters.

Tip: Volunteer for roles at specialized networking events, such as registration or organizing. This provides a structured way to meet people and reduces the pressure of making spontaneous conversations.

I’ve found these to be helpful and easy strategies to implement in my own life to expand my professional network. Networking isn’t easy for anyone, but being prepared and equipped for a variety of conversations with a diverse range of people helps to reduce some of the stress. Get curious about people and don’t be afraid to ask questions!


About the Author

Grace Smyth-Bolland is an associate with Harper Grey LLP and works with their Business Law Group. Grace joined Harper Grey as an articling student in 2021, completed her articles with the firm and was called to the BC bar in 2022. She completed her law and philosophy degrees at Adelaide University in 2015 and 2016 before immigrating to Canada from Australia in 2017.

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