‘Taking the Work Out of Networking’ by Karen Wickre

If you want good work advice for 2019, [Karen Wickre’s] book is a great look at how to build a network by focusing on helping others rather than treating every interaction like a transactional game.

Matt Haughey

Happy New Year’s everyone! As we get off to a fresh start in 2019, let’s take a moment to address the fact that the shyer people among us (myself included) will likely face the same issues making connections with people that we’ve always had. Karen Wickre’s new-ish book, Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections That Count, aims to help us look at our conundrum in a new light.

Wickre is a former Twitter editorial director and Google executive who’s been working in Silicon Valley for 30 years now, and as a self-described introvert herself, she’s had a lot of practice figuring out how to make lasting connections without having to leave her comfort zone. Her book shares the insights she’s picked up along the way:

The common networking advice for introverts are variations on the theme of overcoming or “fixing” their quiet tendencies. […] 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.

There is a lifetime’s worth of practical networking advice here, and she’s done a great service sharing it with the world. Introverts would be remiss to pass it up.

For introverts who panic at the idea of networking, Wickre’s book is a deep, calming breath. You can do it.

—Sophia Dembling, author of The Introvert’s Way and Introverts in Love

Get the book in these formats: