Confidence is all the rage these days. It’s hard to go anywhere without seeing people taking selfies of themselves. Even at concerts people hardly seem there to enjoy the moment anymore and are more concerned with documenting it for people to see. So for those of us that are not the most keen on being scene (Who sometimes don’t even want to put make up on), how can you move forward in the world when so many people are focused on being in the forefront?
How can we succeed in our careers when we are not all flash and glamour? Introverts might find it harder than normal people to participate in things like networking and team building. Humble bragging or talking about our skills isn’t our first nature. None of this is wrong persay, but it can be challenging in a loud and fast moving world.
So what can we do to harness our introverted selves and move forward in our careers and our lives without making ourselves completely uncomfortable?
Chose the Right Job
All jobs are not the same. You might be looking for a job based on your college major. Sometimes it’s something that you truly love but it drains you and you find yourself unable to devote your love to it as much as you thought you would. Introverts are normally detail oriented and very good with researched based positions.
Sometimes it’s the people in the job as opposed to the job itself. There are different social dynamics in every work place that we must consider when staying in a job. Find something that you like but also doesn’t make your life completely about that. Find a place where you fit in. No you don’t have to get along with everyone. But you shouldn’t feel like most of your energy is going to staying on everyone’s good side either.
Know the different in between caring and over doing it
Introverts tend to be people pleasers too. Sadly I have been in many jobs that take advantage of that and it took me a while to learn that just because I didn’t say yes to everything, didn’t mean that I didn’t care. You can show that you care in different ways like bringing snacks for everyone on Monday morning.
You don’t have to do it by staying after hours or over working yourself to the point where you aren’t doing a quality job anymore. Learn how to say no in a productive way. It will help you and help your performance in the long run.
Know Your Networks
I am not going to lie. I’m not good at networking. I have been told that I am “Too much” by multiple people (Both that have something and have nothing to do with jobs), I don’t do well in crowds and I don’t like talking to strangers. Big networking events are utter shit for me. So I stopped doing them.
It’s much more productive for me to network with people that I enjoy doing things with. Networking on groups like face book or linkin is better for me and you wont believe how many people you can start networking with in your normal activities. Running group is where I have met a lot of people and networked with so many that have helped me improve my resume and skills.Use your time wisely.
Like staying late should never be expected, working on your breaks shouldn’t be either. If you need that time to recharge, do it. Get away from your desk and take a break.
If you are like me and need your alone time, don’t be afraid to not eat with your coworkers. I take the time to pop in my earbuds and go for a walk. Just me and the outside. Taking that time makes me a better coworker, better rep and better at my job.
All of these things sound like adaptions and normally when we have to come up with hacks it implies that something is wrong with us. I’ll be clear, there is nothing wrong with being an introvert.
You should not constantly be kicking yourself for not being the life of the office party or for not socializing constantly. We, as introverts have a very different set of skills then people who do not. Yes it can sometimes be hard but it comes with our own strengths too. Play to your strengths instead of trying to solve your weaknesses. Look for a boss that actually values your contributions instead of asking why you aren’t us up and out there are some of your co workers.
Know who you are and what you can do. That is the first step to moving forward and building up.