introverts/ppl w/social anxiety: how to network?

To make a long story short: I’ve worked at the same organization for virtually all of my work life and am interested in making a change. I’m having a hard time figuring out how my current job matches openings at other organizations and so I’ve consulted with a career counselor.

One of the things she’s stressed is networking and doing informational interviews. I’ll certainly ask her for advice on this, but my big challenge here is that I’m very introverted and don’t really have anyone I can reach out to for networking purposes.

I can usually chit-chat with folks at large events and come away with business cards, but have never reached out to them beyond answering any questions they have about the organization where I work. I really don’t have friends or socialize with people (note: I do have a partner, but the people we class as our friends are really her friends).

How the heck do other introverts deal with this? I have tried reading various websites about networking, but the advice usually boils down to “get over it”–so not very helpful.

Social anxiety: booze. antianxiety drugs. therapy. practice.

Introversion: you can’t really change this - it’s how you’re wired. Figure out how to use your skills in an environment, and most are extravert-oriented. Change fields if that helps/you are able to one that is better suited. What industry are you in, I’m having trouble deciphering what network will accomplish or how it works there.

Hopefully SO’s friends consider you their friend, but I know where you’re coming from there.

Set up a website and get it registered with search engines. You can show a lot of personality on a website that you may not be able to convey in face-to-face interactions. Plus, everything is internet nowadays. It’s like if you aren’t on Facebook or twitter, you don’t exist.