Networking (noun): the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.
That’s how the good folks at Merriam-Webster define it, but if you’re an introvert, it might look something like this:
Networking (noun): one of the most unbearable but necessary evils related to the longevity and success of your professional life.
For many introverts, the thought of cold emailing prospective business contacts or attending networking events complete with crappy bottles of Pinot Grigio and grocery store cheese plates hours past their prime is horrendous. But here’s the thing: Networking is, in most fields, very important. When researchers at Harvard Business Review studied 165 lawyers at a large North American law firm, they found that “their success depended on their ability to network effectively both internally (to get themselves assigned to choice clients) and externally (to bring business into the firm). Those who regarded these activities as distasteful and avoided them had fewer billable hours than their peers.”