Networking for Introverts

02Aug08

Librarianship attracts a lot of bookish and perhaps introverted people. But helping others find information is a very interactive and extroverted aspect of our profession. One of the areas I can improve upon is networking within my company. I am guilty of “eating lunch alone” as author Amy Hale-Janeke says in her article Public Relations : Networking for Introverts, or Never Eat Lunch Alone, AALL Spectrum, June 2008. But when I broke out of my shell and talked to a staffer in another department, I learned informally about plans for new software upgrade. Many in the company have been anticipating changes, and even informal news is welcome. Inspired by this article, I invited a co-worker on another floor to come out for lunch.

Over at Slaw Allison Wolf discusses about networking at a conference, but I gleaned these tips below for opening up conversations generally. She says listening is important so don’t just talk. Here are some of her open-ended questions:

  • What’s new and exciting with your business these days?
  • What do you enjoy most about your work?
  • What are the biggest challenges?

I am lucky here in Gotham to have semi regular pub nights where people can mix informally and talk about their work. I learned about the Health Library Association at a pub night.

— Brenda

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