An Introvert's Guide to Conference Networking
How to approach networking by focusing on authentic connections rather than trying to meet as many academic celebrities as possible
The mere mention of the word networking can cause many folks, especially introverts, to feel anxious and uncomfortable. Most people's mental picture of networking involves approaching famous academics at events and trying to pitch themselves or their work. It can feel unnatural, forced, and insincere, leaving us introverts feeling like we're selling ourselves.
There is no need to panic, dear readers. I would like to offer another way of thinking about networking, one that fits better with our introverted personalities and emphasizes making real connections with people.
Throughout my academic journey, I've come to realize that networking doesn't have to be about climbing a career ladder or seeking the approval of the academic Brad Pitts of your discipline. Instead, I've adopted an approach that centers on organic, authentic connections rather than trying to briefly meet as many academic stars as I can.