As an introvert, you might sometimes feel that the work you put into your job isn’t truly appreciated. That’s a common complaint with us introverts. We often realize that our contributions go unnoticed because we aren’t as gregarious as our coworkers.
You can’t change your personality. But what you can do is make your personality your strength. These 10 helpful career tips for introverts will get you on the path to success:
Make Networking Work For You
I’m going to start with the core of the issue. While the rest of the world is busy forging connections, introverts often feel left out. You aren’t as inclined to participate in group discussions and give your two cents in a meeting. But that doesn’t mean you have cut yourself off from your colleagues.
Pick the right people and the right places to network. Do it while hanging around the water cooler or the coffee station. Pick a time when these places aren’t crowded. Find people you feel you are comfortable talking to and build up from there to get yourself a team.
Connect With Fellow Introverts
You might not realize this but every third person is an introvert. This means the chances of finding fellow introverts in the workplace are quite high. The person sitting in the next cubicle could be an introvert like you. Search out these introverts and connect with them. You will find communicating with introverts goes more smoothly as they understand your personality better.
Make Use of the Online World
The world of emails and text messages is heaven for introverts when it comes to networking and communication. If there’s something you don’t feel comfortable discussing face to face, consider sending an email or a message. This will also give you time to word your proposal properly. You can later follow up directly with that person.
Research Your Boss Before Accepting A Position
A quick poll conducted by Scientific American concluded that both introverts and extroverts perform equally well in their jobs. While extroversion is celebrated in our culture and in most industries, it doesn’t necessarily make one better than the other. But not everyone understands this.
When accepting a position, review your boss if you can. Figure out his leadership style. Some leaders only accept extroversion from their employees, but others are comfortable working with both kinds of personalities. If your potential boss is from the latter category, you can breathe easy knowing that he or she will appreciate you for your work contributions, not your ability to schmooze.
Do Your Homework
If you feel tongue-tied at an important meeting and you can’t think of anything to say, then consider prepping for the meeting beforehand. Go over the meeting agenda. Consider what input you can offer to the meeting.
Prepare notes to help you out. You don’t need to take over the entire meeting. Put in your thought where you think it is required. When you don’t speak too much, people stop and listen when you do.
Practice In Front Of the Mirror
You must have heard of this before. That’s because it actually works. Before that important meeting, practice your presentation in front of the mirror.
We often tend to over think of how we look when we speak. All eyes on you might be making you conscious. When practicing in front of the mirror, figure out your angles and how to calm your face while talking. When you make this a regular practice, you will find it’s easier to participate in meetings.
Understand Your Own Worth
Extroverts have a tendency to dominate the show. With the spotlight on them almost all the time, it might look like they are putting in more work and energy. Don’t let that devalue you, and lower your position. Do your own evaluation. How are you contributing to the workplace? Can you do it better? If you can find ways to challenge yourself, do it. It will do wonders for your self-esteem.
Find the Right Job
You must have realized by now that not all jobs work for introverts. Basically, jobs that require a lot of networking and conversations don’t always go well with introverts. Here are some jobs that you might love:
- Programmer or App Creator
- Blogger or Virtual Assistant
- Online Entrepreneur
One of the best career options for introverts is a virtual assistant job. Even if you have no experience in this field, you can find entry-level job opportunities and start your career as a virtual assistant online.
Start Your Own Online Business
This might be a bold step, but believe me, there’s a lot of potential here. Online businesses are springing up everywhere around the world. There is a little investment and potential for great success.
The best thing about an online business is that there won’t be a lot of face to face conversations. You can talk virtually with your customers, distributors, suppliers etc without breaking into a sweat.
Open a savings account and start saving now! If you have been denied by a bank recently, this might be helpful: https://letmebank.com/best-second-chance-banks/
I do have an online business called “Third Line Clip Arts”. I am proud to own it and have Ellen Watson and some other experts from Fiverr website collaborating on it. Being introverted in this extroverted world is definitely hard. But, I am happy that I can connect and write my thoughts to other people online.
Hello! Thank you for this website! I stumble upon this site after months of searching for ‘answers’…. basically “who am I”, etc. I always knew I was an introvert but never really took it seriously when it came to ‘careers’. But, after a few set backs in 2018, I began researching further about how I wanted my future to look. Some background… I am currently a real estate broker and a photographer (weddings specifically for about 9 years). For 15 years I was a bookkeeper, which I gladly left in 2017 to focus on real estate and photography. From mid 2017 to late 2018, income from these fully commission jobs have not been too great. Plus I decided to retire from ‘weddings’ in 2018 to further focus on real estate and have more time with family. However, my focused efforts did not yield the results I had hoped for… thus, my current dilemma. I learned other things, baking, art, substitute teaching, etc to make money…. basically back to my ‘old’ challenges of doing so many things. In an ideal world, I would photograph and travel the world but I know it’s not reality with 2 kids and it doesn’t pay my current mounting debts. I’m at a lost. I’m an eager learner and prefer not to waste time working jobs that are not aligned with my personality. Please help!
p.s. It doesn’t help that my spouse continously say I need to ‘come down from the clouds’ and face the reality fairy.
I just left a field for these reasons, where I was making good money, but I often felt drowned out by larger personalities, or that they didn’t really need me there. Now, I’m basically starting over with a job as a courier, where I work solo, and driving for a rideshare platform, which makes for interaction with people in small doses. I am building a woodworking business, to sell gifts online. It’s a struggle starting over in my late 40s, but has been much better for my mental health. Thanks Michaela, for your insights!
Hi Tom. Thanks for the helpful thoughts about your career change. I like how you realized that mental health is as important as making money. Seven years ago I also made a career change from a management role to driving for a senior care home. It was a much better fit and still could utilize some of my learned manager skills when my energy levels where available. Unfortunately the company downsized and new corporate managers changed to a more extroverted environment. My work load increased and now I struggle with pain in my driving leg. I’m 53 and frustrated to have to re career again for the eight time in my life. How do you like courier driving? What is the best way to get started with an online business? Would love to connect with you. Best regards, Tim email@example.com
Your tip to “research your boss before accepting a position” really hit home with me. Last year, I quickly got on the bad side of an extremely extroverted boss when, shortly after starting to work for her, she asked me to fly to Chicago to attend an all-day meeting. She didn’t give me any insight into what the meeting was about so I assumed I’d learn while I was there. During the meeting, I quietly listened and took tons of notes to get myself up-to-speed on this new project while the 30+ other people in the room practically yelled out their ideas and suggestions, talking over and interrupting each other nonstop. I thought I had done the right thing by listening and learning but found out later at the airport that she had expected me to come to that meeting and share tons of ideas on the fly about a topic I new absolutely nothing about. She said I made her look bad by just sitting there and not saying a word. That was the end of that job for me because she never let me live down the fact that I was not speaking up enough during meetings. She nagged me about it constantly. I held on for 6 more miserable months trying to get out of the dog house with the devil boss but finally gave up and quit.
My gut told me she and her boss were probably not a good fit for me and my style during the interview process because both of them yelled a lot and interrupted me when I was trying to answer their questions, but I ignored those feelings in exchange for what I thought would be a dream job. I learned a very hard but valuable lesson and will now always research any potential boss before taking a new job.
Thank you so much for your web site and insights.
Hi, just wanted tto say, I liked this article.
It was funny. Keep on posting!