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Why Are Some People More Reluctant to Network Than Others?

daftandbarmy

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One of the biggest barriers for CAF members transitioning to civvy street, IMHO....


Why Are Some People More Reluctant to Network Than Others?

The benefits of professional networking are backed by research, anecdote, and career coaches galore—and yet a lot of people shy away from it. A global survey of nearly 16,000 LinkedIn users revealed that while nearly 80 percent of professionals consider networking crucial to career success, almost 40 percent admit that they find it hard to do.

So who networks and who doesn’t? One might assume that networking is largely the domain of those who have lower social status who are early in their careers. After all, the benefits of a larger network are especially important as you’re establishing yourself.

But a lot of research suggests that this isn’t the case—that higher-status individuals have larger social networks.

Indeed, seasoned professionals seem to be the ones most actively reaching out to their networks for favors, comfortably working meet-and-greet events and seeking out new connections. This was a tendency observed by the late Ned Smith, who was an associate professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School, and coauthor Jiyin Cao, an associate professor of management in Stony Brook University’s College of Business.

“We sensed this disconnect between who actually needs to be doing the networking behavior the most, and who is actually doing the networking behavior the most,” says Cao, who earned her PhD from Kellogg.

In a new paper, Cao and Smith explored just why this is the case. They confirmed that people with higher status do have larger social networks and tend to be more likely to do things to broaden those networks further, such as seek advice from an acquaintance. Critically, they found that these differences between low- and high-status individuals were largely driven by whether individuals viewed status to be an indicator of someone’s quality. When people attributed their high status to their own talent and hard work, they were particularly eager to network: they were confident they had value to offer and that others would be receptive to their outreach.

Cao says their findings could offer a new plank to the prevailing sociological wisdom about how social networks are built. Currently, people’s networks are generally attributed to forces largely outside of their control—such as the neighborhood in which they grew up, schools they attended, or others’ interest in networking with them.

“We’re not challenging the previous literature,” Cao says, “but we felt like there was a missing piece of the story—and that is the agency of people themselves. What we really want to highlight here is that individuals actually do have agency in building their networks.”


Why Are Some People More Reluctant to Network Than Others?
 

daftandbarmy

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Next up, the SJWs will seek compensation for introverts who are at a disadvantage compared to extroverts in this game.

I know some pretty effective networkers who are deep introverts, so am not sure if that's a determining factor or not.
 

Brad Sallows

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Yes; introverts learn to mimic the behaviours of extroverts when necessary.
 

daftandbarmy

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Yes; introverts learn to mimic the behaviours of extroverts when necessary.

Set up an 'Introvert Corner' and host a silent party.

In the Army, that's usually the Smoking Pit, or equivalent ;)


Find the introvert-friendly corner and maybe use it to host people​

Scouting the whole place is the first thing I do. Sometimes they have a quiet area where I can go and recharge. Most of the time, I find other introverts there, and it’s great because nobody stares or wants to talk 😊.

Other times there will be introvert-friendly spaces on the periphery, which are fantastic to set camp. One event I attended was standing-only inside a room, but with a couple of outside areas with sofas and heat lamps. I sat there and had a lovely evening talking to many extroverts coming in-and-out to get some air. Later, another introvert sat next to me, and we both ‘hosted’ the space all night. Whenever we saw someone coming out of the crowd, we would say “Hi! you look exhausted. Want to sit down?” They would sit, chat for a while, and then go back.

 

rmc_wannabe

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Yes; introverts learn to mimic the behaviours of extroverts when necessary.
Masking is a huge thing that we autistic people do to help survive social situations. Networking and the like are my own personal hell, because its hard to switch gears to seem approachable, relatable, and find commonalities with the person I'm trying to network with.

Its the price of admission a lot of the time; you need to put yourself out there to be known and seen within certain circles, but it takes a toll emotionally and physically. I haven't drank in 3 years and I still feel hungover after a Mess Dinner or social event because of the effort.

I don't blame folks for not wanting to do that too often, but at the same time, its part of the game I guess.
 

daftandbarmy

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Masking is a huge thing that we autistic people do to help survive social situations. Networking and the like are my own personal hell, because its hard to switch gears to seem approachable, relatable, and find commonalities with the person I'm trying to network with.

Its the price of admission a lot of the time; you need to put yourself out there to be known and seen within certain circles, but it takes a toll emotionally and physically. I haven't drank in 3 years and I still feel hungover after a Mess Dinner or social event because of the effort.

I don't blame folks for not wanting to do that too often, but at the same time, its part of the game I guess.

Well, there's nothing like a coffee or lunch meeting 1 on 1 to show how an introvert can excel.

Networking doesn't alway mean being the 'life of the party' which, especially for serious job opportunities, can be awful.
 
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