How to Network if You’re an Introvert

NetworkingSkill Development

Do you know where companies hire from the most?
Take a guess. No, seriously, go ahead and ponder it. What comes to mind? Job boards? Social media? Career sites? All of those answers would be in the ballpark for sure, but none would be in the number one spot. Let me share with you a few stats and see if you can figure it out.

Each year, CareerXRoads produces a survey where they measure the most popular sources of hires. In 2010, referrals were number one. In 2011, referrals were number one. In 2012, referrals were number one. In 2013, referrals were number one. At this point, I am reasonably sure that in 2014, referrals will be the most popular origin of new hires. If for no other reason, this proves the importance of networking with people. However, what if you are shy? What if you are not the type to reach out to a total stranger and say, “Hey, can we get to know each other so you can refer me into a job?” If you are more the introvertive type, might I suggest an alternative method of networking?

First, track down podcasts focused on your industry. (iTunes is a great place to start!) In the screenshot below, I am doing a search on iTunes for podcasts focused on “cloud computing.” (See the arrow?) I have insured that I am (a) looking only at podcasts by restricting my results accordingly. In the top half of the results are (b) podcast episodes and (c) the bottom half is a list of shows focused on cloud computing.

In the screenshot below, I am looking at the podcast – “DABCC Radio: Virtualization / Cloud Computing Podcasts (Citrix, VMWare, and Microsoft).” In the description of the show, I notice that the host is Douglas Brown. Among other things, he is the founder of

I randomly pick an episode, “VMTurbo: Virtualization Management & Data…” and when I mouse over the information icon (See the arrow?), I notice that the host is interviewing Michael Berthiaume, an Enterprise Systems Engineer at VMTurbo.

Now, listen to the podcast and take note of things said that were of interest to you. What did you agree with? What did you disagree with? What are some points that they missed? What could have been expounded on further? What was your opinion of the podcast overall? Use the answer to these questions as a means of connecting with either the host or the guest. Maybe something along the lines of…

Name of the host,

I just heard the Cloud Computing podcast. I really liked point A, point B and point D. However, I disagree with your comment about point D. I have been working with virtualization tech for several years and my experience with cloud computing is a lot different. Consider point E and point F. If you are open to it, can we connect to discuss further?


Of course, iTunes isn’t the only place online to find podcasts. Here are a few more resources for you:

  • Blog Talk Radio
  • Stitcher

In leaving no stone unturned, you can also discover podcasts via Google searches. Here are a few to consider if you are focusing your career on the “internet of things.”

  • “internet of things” intitle:podcast interviews
  • “internet of things” intitle:podcast “hosted by * “
  • “internet of things” intitle:podcast download | subscribe

One more thing. If you find this strategy to be too much for you, another suggestion would be to write a review on the podcast and invite people to connect with you. If you were to do that on iTunes, you would be among the few in the case of the DABCC podcast as so few people have written reviews for that show. From a networking perspective, what an opportunity to share your info in front of a very targeted audience. I mean, who else would be interested in that show but people in that industry. Just a thought. In the screenshot below, you can see how the most recent reviews are from 2007.

So, what do you think of this job search strategy?

Author Bio

Jim Stroud writes for