For generations, people have propagated the idea that those who like to talk, love to socialize, and enjoy the spotlight have the edge over their peers in the work environment.
Thanks to a flawed definition of leadership skills, this stereotype has been ingrained in society. It has led introverts to believe that they need to change their personalities and portray a more extroverted image in order to get ahead at work.
Sure, being an introvert in the workplace comes with its share of challenges, but with these simple tips you’ll be able to take charge and advance your career to the next level.
Speak With Your Work
Being together with a noisy group of people constantly throwing ideas around the room might not be your idea of a productive workspace. Instead of getting drained by this kind of environment, pour your energy and focus into the work that you’re doing.
Introverts find it easier to focus on their tasks without having to deal with people. So put your heart and soul into the work that you have, and make sure that you do it well. You can rest assured that your efforts will be noticed, and you will earn respect for being the ‘quiet genius’ in the workplace.
Decide When it is Important to Socialize
When you know you’re an introvert, you can excuse yourself from activities that tire you out. You may choose to opt out of an after-work social hour, or avoid mingling with large groups during lunch breaks.
However, it’s important to know when you should switch gears and take on a challenge that will advance your career.
For example, if your boss calls you over for dinner or a one-on-one meeting, grab the opportunity to build a stronger relationship. Once you know how to avoid social activities that are draining, you can instead direct your energy into building one-on-one relationships with the right people. These opportunities will come along once in a while, and after these meetings, you can always go back to enjoying your ‘quiet’ time.
Let People Know
The biggest problem that introverts often face at the workplace is miscommunication. Keeping to oneself and giving quick, short responses might come off as rude to those who don’t know you very well.
So, what is the best way to resolve this? Let everyone know who you are.
When you’re applying for the job, you can probably put in a word about how you prefer not to socialize too much. Or maybe when you introduce yourself to new colleagues you can slip in a line about how you usually keep to yourself. Communicating your personality type will clear up any misconceptions that people could have about your demeanor.
Being an introvert in the professional world can be difficult. But remember – you’re a better listener than most other workers. So, when there is a need to devise a strategy you will be able to facilitate team discussions by integrating all their ideas and opinions.
Just play your cards right, keep to your strengths, and prevent miscommunication. Sometimes you may need to step outside your comfort zone, but don’t stress about being less social than some of your other co-workers. Maintain a positive outlook, and you will have a promising career ahead of you.