Even though you may not like it, you finally made the decision to expand your network in your company. (Great!! 😀)
Maybe you even sat down and made a strategic list of all those important people you have to talk to and look at it with dread because:
“What the heck should I talk to the marketing director about?”
“I need a really good reason to bother the head of the research department!”
And just like that you’re overwhelmed, feel your energy levels take nosedive and are ready to cancel the plan right there.
You think networking* is hard and no fun at all. 😭
(* I prefer calling it “making connections and building my fan base”)
The mistake you’re making is that you keep looking only to the ‘obvious’ people to connect with. The ones further up in the hierarchy and the people you ‘want something from’.
And you try to solve this situation by
- reducing your goals so you don’t have to do (“nah, it’s not that important after all, I’ll just wait until someone else proposes this”)
- or forcing yourself to execute this plan, finding not one ounce of joy and feeling all awkward when you introduce yourself (which they notice and now some start thinking you’re awkward).
See how you can only lose that way?
The idea you’re missing is sprinkle in connection-making moments that you actually enjoy. Having conversations that come easy to you and where you talk to people on your own level.
They will create your reputation for you! ✅
Here’s an example:
I like the connections most where I can work with people from other areas of the business over the course of a project. In one case, I shared a tool we use in continuous improvement with the project manager.
He never heard of this before and so we embedded into this project that we had together. Few weeks later he told me that he shared this approach with his team lead … who then asked him to present it to the department.
Now that one project manager will give an update to at least 10 people saying “Nicole” and “this cool thing” in one sentence.
It was an easy connection for me to build, doing things I like and adding value to my current project — and now it even goes on to build my reputation for me.
If you want more introvert-friendly strategies to promote your work (and yourself), click here to grab my five favourite ones!