The Scoop

Networking 101 for Introverts

Career advice about the importance of networking is everywhere, but for the shy or introverted, the idea of charging into a social situation and making small talk can be overwhelming. However, the following tips can help even the most reticent person become a competent networker.

Find small events. Avoid large settings with big crowds and instead opt for a more intimate gathering. For the most reluctant networkers, reach out first on social media just to practice “meeting” new people.

Bring a buddy. Having a friend as back up can lessen the initial nervousness that comes with attending a new social situation.

Initiate a conversation. Rather than wait for someone to approach you, take the initiative to begin a conversation. One-on-one chats are easier than jumping into a group discussion.

Be yourself. Often introverts have the perfect set of qualifications to be excellent networkers—good listening skills and the ability to develop close relationships.

Ask questions. Asking about someone’s career trajectory or industry knowledge is a great way to break the ice. Additionally, consider memorizing several questions to have as conversation starters before the event.

–From Washington Post Jobs

The New Etiquette of Phone Calls

In a galaxy far, far away… well, not quite, but in the recent past, making a phone call simply meant picking up a phone and punching in numbers. Not anymore.

The preponderance of communication channels has changed the way to approach speaking on a phone. Below are the new rules of making a phone call.

  • Text before you call. Check with the individual you want to speak with to determine the best time to make the call. Unexpected phone calls can trigger a host of worries about emergencies or bad news. The before-call text is good business etiquette, too; it shows respect for the recipient’s schedule.
  • Use apps that enhance phone call quality. Some phone carriers provide an HD option to improve reception, but users must ask their carrier to have that feature enabled. Using Wi-Fi is another way to improve the reception quality of cell phone calls and has the added bonus of avoiding data usage.
  • Talk on speakers. Between Siri and Alexa, making a hands-free phone call is easy. However, remember to stay close to the speaker so you can be heard.

Phone calls are the best way to make a connection more human. Texting alone simply cannot communicate nuance and tone.

–From The Wall Street Journal

 Start a Great Career in Your 20s

Fortune 500 top executives such as Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft offer advice to those just starting their careers. Below is a sampling of their suggestions.

  • Have an incredible work ethic and be persistent—John Scully, Apple, Pepsi
  • Figure out what you want to be doing five years from now; be systematic about learning—Drew Houston, Dropbox
  • Dream big, especially women, and commit to things and make them a regular habit—Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook
  • Find something you’re passionate about. Work hard, have good ideas, and put yourself in a position to get lucky—Steve Ballmer, Clippers
  • There’s no substitute for hard work. You’ll be more successful if you put coworkers first—Dan Schulman, PayPal


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