Being an introvert and navigating the network business seems to be a difficult task.
Nora Montaya is a career advisor at Humboldt State University who is a self-proclaimed introvert. Montaya opened up about how her experience influenced her overall career.
“I missed out on a lot of opportunities due to being an introvert, I cried because being a perfectionist, I didn’t want to miss out on anything,” Montaya said.
Montaya found peace when she developed a sense of comfort in her skin and found ways to enjoy public speaking.
During a workshop, Montaya instructed viewers to take a quiz to measure their introversion.
Maya Hergenradar, a student at Humboldt State University scored half and half, revealing that Hergenradar had both introverted and extroverted traits.
“I like to journal and figure out what I need to maintain my positive state of mind,” Hergenradar said.
Aleya Serrano, another student at Humboldt State University, scored a perfect score of 100% introvert, making Serrano a deeply introverted person.
“The closer I am to someone and the less people there are, the less energy it takes to spend time with them. Being with my two close friends will never tire me out as much as being out in a public place,” Serrano said.
Montaya covered common introversion characteristics during the skills workshop to give viewers a better understanding of what it means to be an introvert.
“Many introverted people prefer to be alone, are easily exhausted from socialization, have a smaller inner circle, and are often very self-aware,” Montaya said.
Montaya emphasized how introverted people enjoy deep conversations which allow them to develop connections with others easily. Therefore Montaya implies that this gives them a good advantage when it comes to networking.
Building a network, according to Montaya, could be even family or friends. Montaya also emphasizes how it’s important to build professional relationships as it leads to success.
“To build good professional relationships with people, it is important to have a meaningful connectional and to be very conversational,” Montaya said.
Since this could easily overwhelm people with introverted traits, Montaya also said that it was important to take time for extra self-care when one feels drained. It is also important to train and prepare oneself when networking can get quite hectic.
“It’s not a race, it’s about making a connection, it’s okay to have reasonable expectations,” Montaya said.
Montaya goes into further detail to give out some advice on how introverts can become great listeners. It is important to not only be a great listener but to be mindful of eye contact, posture, and facial expressions.
“Eye contact is definitely an accommodation people need to be aware of for neurodivergent individuals,” said Humboldt State University student Kira Trinity.
As a career advisor of two years, Nora Montaya has had quite the time to adjust to her environment however, it was a hard stepping stone for her.
“I felt a disadvantage for professional opportunities in comparison to my extroverted colleagues,” Montaya said.
Montaya however hopes to inspire other introverted people through her workshop and remind them that it is possible to make it in the networking business.