Being an introvert in a work situation, it can often feel as though the business world wishes you were an extrovert instead. The thing is, always being in the company of other people leaves you feeling drained in a way that the extrovert simple does not understand.
You may also feel that only those who exhibit typical team player attributes get the opportunity to advance in their careers, while your talents get overlooked.
So here are a few tips to help you play to your strengths as an introvert and get the result you want.
1. Be The One Who Listens
So, you don’t want to talk all the time like the extroverts? That can be a great advantage.
When dealing with colleagues – and this is an inevitable part of work life – being the one that asks the insightful questions and actually listens to the answers is an advantage. People want to feel heard and this applies whether it is people below you in the company hierarchy, or your bosses that you are talking to.
They want to feel that you are paying attention to what they want. When you show that you are, by relaying back what you heard and by demonstrating it in your work, you will start to get the attention you deserve. From this, career advancement opportunities will start to crop up.
2. You Can Still Be The Connected One
Although you may not like hanging out with the big crowds at office parties, there is no reason why you cannot connect with people on an individual basis.
Consider inviting colleagues out for a one-to-one coffee or meal, or go together in smaller groups. This will enable you to get to know people in the workplace and, more importantly, people will get to know you and understand what you are really like.
Nobody wants others to feel excluded, and by organizing these small get-togethers you will become seen as personable and as an able team player.
3. Be Willing To Shout About Your Accomplishments
This may feel like a stretch, but if you want to advance in your organization or beyond, there are some things that you simply have to try and do. You can choose the setting though.
When you are having your next review, ensure that you confidently relate stories of your accomplishments to your manager(s). If you want to advance, there can be no holding back and trying to be humble; it is this false humility that will keep you trapped in a job that you’d like to progress from.
4. Advance Into Doing Your Own Thing
Allow yourself to remain open to the idea of starting your own business if you are unable to find a role that you enjoy or that you believe you are best qualified for.
In this day and age of social media and the internet, it would be simple enough for you to step into a role you design for yourself. Of course, you must bear in mind that there will be even more of a need to break free of your comfort zone as being an entrepreneur will demand that you wear many hats.
However, there is more freedom to use your strengths to grow your business. The three key things to remember are to grow your circle of influence, to tell people what you are about and why they should choose to work with you, and then to offer something for sale. Do these things on a daily basis and you will be surprised at the growth of your entrepreneurial venture.
5. Be Yourself
There is a tendency, as I mentioned earlier, for introverts to act like extroverts in order to advance their careers. Don’t!
This will ultimately lead to an increased and unhealthy level of stress. Learn your strengths and confidently look for roles that will allow you to play to them. Do not give in to any pressure to be someone other than yourself, and you will find a role or business that suits you.
Nothing can stand in the way of a very determined, albeit introverted, soul. Be that soul.