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Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  1,661 ratings  ·  197 reviews
Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and a successful consultant who speaks to thousands of people every year, found that most networking advice books assume that to succeed you have to become an extrovert. Or at least learn how to fake it. Not at all. There is another way. This book shatters stereotypes about people who dislike networking. They're not shy or misanthropic. Rat ...more
Paperback, 169 pages
Published August 2nd 2010 by Berrett-Koehler Publishers (first published January 2nd 1991)
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Average rating 3.55  · 
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 ·  1,661 ratings  ·  197 reviews

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Start your review of Networking for People Who Hate Networking: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected
Mar 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The subtitle on this book indicates it's "A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected". I think it would also be extremely useful for extroverts, which the author says at least once. It talks about the stereotypes of both and is a good lesson on being aware there exists more than one type of personality and the traits of either do not always indicate discourtesy or unkindness.

Many things in this book were no surprise to me - I already seemed to know a lot intuitively (L
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-books
My boss told me that I needed to be able to "work a room". Being an introvert, I was somewhat dismayed and then switched into my regular mode - "there must be a book for this". There is and I was lucky enough to find it quickly. Zack's premise is that networking can work for those of us who feel a cold sweat coming on when just thinking about walking into a business "party".

I had to attend a work conference while I was reading the book and actually did use some of the techniques offered. I conc
Apr 22, 2022 rated it liked it
Well, even though this book is a decade old, and I kinda expected it to be a little dated, it turned out to be interesting. Nothing earth-shatteringly knew, but I liked how the author dissects different personality types (focusing on introverts) and then gives ideas of how one can be more social. It’s a good beginner’s guide but leaves a lot to be desired to be really effective.
May 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
The good news- the central premise in this book is that introverts (and some centroverts - Huzzah! The world isn't black and white!) can be successful at networking by playing to their strengths. Going to an informal cocktail hour? Worst suggestion for an introvert EVER. Pre-registering for a conference and volunteering (to give the introvert a specific role to assume) is much more likely to get results. Zack even redefines results, saying with introverts, it's ok to have fewer contacts, so long ...more
It wasn't a book for me but at least I think I learned something. ...more
Stephanie Thoma
What a fun, informative and zany read. I enjoyed being let into Devora's mind, and ended up quoting her in an updated slide in my workshop "Networking for Introverts".

Some takeaways:
- Real networking is connecting
- Introverts: think to talk (reflective), go deep (focused), energize alone (self-reliant)
- Extroverts: talk to think (verbal), go wide (expansive), energize with others (social)
- Prepping for an event: have a quiet lunch, stop work early, volunteer (to have defined role), go w/ a pal (
Miz Moffatt
Mar 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
Networking for People Who Hate Networking offers a comprehensive social toolkit for introverted individuals who aim for greater networking success. Where other books pathologize introverted behaviours and normalize the boisterous techniques of extreme extroverts, Devora Zack reframes the concept of social aptitude and provides accessible advice tailored for introverts. Zack offers an overview of the unique strengths of independent introverts, and provides structured approaches to dealing with so ...more
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library, nonfiction
I started this book with "YES! This is totally me! I am so excited to learn how to finally network like all those outgoing people!" Each of the chapters even started this way. After that though, the content did not expand my networking skills at all. I've come to realize from reading this book that I know myself very, very well. I understand how I think as an introvert (ie. A LOT of thinking before speaking) and how I function in a working environment. I know I need to research and prepare ahead ...more
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Most books that I have read that discuss introverts and extroverts tend to talk in stereotypes. Introverts are seen as shy, cold, and slow witted. Extroverts are seen as the life of the party, fun, and social. Indeed, there truly are key differences between introverts and extroverts. However, both have strengths and limitations. When we recognize this fact and start using what we have, we find that even networking isn’t as bad as we think.

Right from the start, Networking for People who Hate Net
Lighthearted and entertainingly written, this is geared towards those who abhor networking. That's basically anyone who isn't an extrovert. The author spends a great deal of time identifying the personality traits of extroverts (who talk to think, and energize with others), introverts (where it's the other way around), and centroverts (somewhere in the middle where I fit in.) The regular rules of networking are too draining for non-extroverts so the author offers tips and strategies that work al ...more
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
As someone who hates networking, as I much prefer my own company, I thought this book would give me some useful hints and tips.

The book provided a lot of detail about introverts etc and the need to network more slowly with breaks to recharge yourself but concentrated on meeting people at networking events only. There was no mention of how to network in your own workplace through coffee/lunch meetings etc. The other downside of the book was that it talked about that first meeting but there was no
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Never listen to a book that has a bunch of tests with multiple answers and tables in it. It's like some horoscope or "wow, you wouldn't believe the results of this test" ... after a test after a test.
From the positive side, I have never heard of "centroverts" before, but she really nailed that one. A bit of both, not intro, but not really an extra as well.
This book gives some structure and patterns on communications and a reminder to extraverts that not everyone is.
Oct 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
translation? am not so sure about its quality
content? way too centralized around selling the point of: introverts and extroverts are one as good as the other, networking is fun and not enough on the networking itself.
structure? it feels a little bit all over the place.
design? looks like intentionally stretched out to give at least 200 pages

so no, I am not convinced
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
For someone like me who leads a large digital life but a small IRL life this has been helpful. I have made some minor changes so far and they seem to be working. This book can be good for the introverted or the shy to work on their networking skills.
Donna Craig
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I learned a few new concepts from this quick, easy read:
Preparing an elevator speech
Treating people differently if they are introverts, extroverts, centroverts
The idea of centroverts
and more.
Pretty useful stuff, actually.
Sybil Vyver
Its a good book for Introverts to learn how to navigate networking events
Aug 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Ugh. Perhaps I just won't like any "self-help" books, but I read this for my reading challenge. This book was pretty full of itself, and doesn't make me hate networking any less. Meh. ...more
Jenn Wells
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: game-changers
So good! I have told everyone who would listen about this book. A good chunk of it delves into the differences between extroverts and introverts, what the misconceptions are, and how to play to your strengths. I love the idea that not everyone has to network the traditional way and, as an introvert, the polite ways ro make sure you get enough alone time to recover before jumping back into the fray. A must read for introverts, but valuable for everyone no matter where you are on the scale. Oh, an ...more
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
The books starts by discussing the differences between introverts and extroverts. One of my favorite aspects of the book is the author's perspective that neither personality type is better than the other, but people should optimize their networking strengths depending on what personality type they fall into. My high rating of the book generally comes from the fact that the book does not try to change introverts or state that being an introvert is bad. There is a shocking lack of awareness among ...more
Feb 10, 2012 rated it liked it
There is not much that is really new here for me, but I did find some useful techniques and ideas for more effectively managing my energy for networking. I am one of those introverts who, at professional conferences, reaches the end of the day exhausted by the constant flow of people and interpersonal demands. The last thing I want is to feel compelled to have dinner or attend social functions with a large group of people and be "on stage" for another 3-4 hours. So, I often make excuses or just ...more
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Excellent reading and another of those "must read" titles for introverts.

I'll be doing a full review on my blog, but for the meantime, I'll say that I love the extent to which Ms Zack *gets* introversion.

Her writing style is engaging with just enough snark to keep me grinning, and her 3-P process (Pause, Process and Pace) is an awesome structural tool for us introverts in pretty much all areas of our lives - not just networking.

Definitely worth checking out if you're introverted and want to som
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I had the pleasure of attending a work lecture about networking where Devora Zack was the speaker. As someone who abhors the idea networking, I knew I needed this session. I loved every minute of it. She was a fantastic speaker, very lively and engaging. This book was handed out to everyone who attended the seminar and I was really excited to read it as a follow up to the discussion.

This book won't turn anyone into an instant networker. You won't find a book that will do that. One of the main p
Gwen Nguyen
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
An excellent book that does exactly what it promises: to teach a person who hates networking ways around the excruciating experience of unavoidable networking (unless you live under a rock). Some strategies she suggests are preparing your material (ie. what you are going to talk about if you find yourself in a networking pickle) and choosing activities that have a set structure. Overall, it's a very easy and light read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be trying out her strategy of pa ...more
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
As an introvert myself I found myself in a lot of situations described in the book. I hoped to get advice on how to control feeling uneasy and nervous when meeting new people or speak to a group and especially how to ease up at networking because I always feel like an idiot when trying small talk with colleagues (or anybody else). But even though the book described a lot situations where I thought "hey I know that feeling", it didn't show how to handle that. Sure there were some advices on topic ...more
Dec 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
I am giving this book points for being an entertaining read, but it when you boil it down, it could be summarized over a few pages. The book should have been called, "Why Introverts Act The Way They Do." The book made me realize why I feel worn out at times having to talk to people in a networking setting, but it didn't really make it any easier. Often times I find myself talking to people more introverted, so what then? Honestly, I stopped around page 117, so if there was anything essential bey ...more
May 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Nothing extraordinary or new. It's all been said and written so many times before. Yes there are two major groups of personalities, yes there are some who fall in between and yes behavioral patterns are different between all those and you should not waste your energy to be what you are not meant to be. As simple as that. I didn't quite like the book because of so many repetitions throughout the context and chaotic narration. ...more
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read for introverts on how to handle networking. I discovered I'm more of a centrovert than an introvert. Excellent strategies for attending networking events and business trips. Also useful pointers about the differences between extroverts and introverts, and how to use those differences to one's advantage while networking. ...more
Apr 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Some good advice for the introverts, although very much geared toward professional networking events rather than everyday situations. Probably be a good read for extroverts, so they better understand their quieter coworkers. This is a very quick read; I was able to finish it during a slow afternoon.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're an introvert trying to make it in an extroverts world then this book is for you. Very insightful. The author does a good job of breaking down why introverts feel the way they feel in social situations, how to work with extroverts and practical ways to keep yourself from getting burned out during social events where networking is the expectation. ...more
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an easy read and provides some excellent strategies for people who are not fond of networking. I will definitely be using many of these tips in my job search and have recommended it to some other job seekers I know.
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Devora Zack is a nationally recognized expert in the field of leadership development. Her consulting, networking strategies, seminars, corporate retreats, coaching, and strategic plans consistently result in improved productivity and morale.

Ms. Zack consults to dozens of diverse organizations in private industry, federal agencies, and the public sector.

Ms. Zack holds an MBA from Cornell Universi

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“Why do extroverts have voicemail? To never miss a call.

Why do introverts have voicemail? To never answer the phone.”
“Strong introverts crave alone time (I-time) as if it were oxygen in the lungs for survival. I can become short of breath from inadequate alone time. I-time is non-negotiable for a high-functioning introvert. Without I-time, an introvert can suffer from distraction, imbalance, exhaustion, and irritability.” 8 likes
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