The former Google executive, editorial director of Twitter and self-described introvert offers networking advice for anyone who has ever cancelled a coffee date due to social anxiety—about how to nurture a vibrant circle of reliable contacts without leaving your comfort zone.
Networking has garnered a reputation as a sort of necessary evil in the modern business world. Some do relish the opportunity to boldly work the room, introduce themselves to strangers, and find common career ground—but for many others, the experience is often awkward, or even terrifying.
The common networking advice for introverts are variations on the theme of overcoming or “fixing” their quiet tendencies. But Karen Wickre is a self-described introvert who has worked in Silicon Valley for 30 years. She shows you to embrace your true nature to create sustainable connections that can be called upon for you to get—and give—career assistance, advice, introductions, and lasting connections.
Karen’s “embrace your quiet side” approach is for anyone who finds themselves shying away from traditional networking activities, or for those who would rather be curled up with a good book on a Friday night than out at a party. For example, if you’re anxious about that big professional mixer full of people you don’t know, she advises you to consider skipping it (many of these are not productive), and instead set up an intimate, one-on-one coffee date. She shows how to truly make the most out of social media to sustain what she calls “the loose touch habit” to build your own brain trust to last a lifetime.
With compelling arguments and creative strategies, this new way to network is perfect not only for introverts, but for anyone who wants for a less conventional approach to get ahead in today’s job market.
Silicon Valley veteran Karen Wickre is the former Editorial Director at Twitter, where she landed after a decade-long career at Google. An advisor to startups and a lifelong information seeker, she is a member of the Board of Visitors for the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University, and serves on the boards of the International Center for Journalists, the News Literacy Project, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has been a featured columnist for Wired.com and is a cofounder of Newsgeist, an annual gathering conference fostering new approaches to news and information. She is the author of Taking the Work Out of Networking and lives in San Francisco.