You may feel like you’re at a slight disadvantage if you’re an introvert in the workplace – especially when the extroverts shine. Do you have less to contribute? Do you feel unheard? How can you make yourself more comfortable to share your thoughts, ideas, and grow in your career? We’re sharing 8 ways to thrive in the workplace as an introvert. Check it out!
The Role You Choose Matters
As an introvert, you must choose a role that’s right for you. If you put yourself in an extremely extroverted position, i.e.; the first job you landed, great pay, great benefits, short commute – you may find yourself feeling burnt out or unmotivated. If you don’t enjoy making cold calls – but you’re in a role where you’re consistently making cold calls, the chances you are going to enjoy your job are slim. Start with a position that brings out your skills and capitalizes on what you know you excel at.
Accentuate Your Skills
You must first know what you have to offer and the skills that you excel at. Are you most motivated when you’re working solo? Hone in on that. You excel in being self-sufficient and independent, and these are extremely vital skills that are important in the workplace. Not to mention in leadership. Not all leaders lead verbally, some often lead by example. Volunteering for leadership roles allow you as an introvert to “establish authority” without the general approach of being “louder and prouder than the crowd”, says psychology today.
Share Your Ideas
Introverts will typically put extensive thought into situations. Whether it be ideas to improve the company, ways to problem solve or ways to speed up production, introverts are thinkers. Allow yourself to share these ideas with the “doers” and the people who will put them into action.
Schedule Recharge Blocks
As an introvert, alone time can be a time to recharge. Whether it be a time you schedule in your calendar where you don’t have meetings, calls, interactions – or you leave on your lunch break to take a walk to recharge. The workplace is filled with distractions. Giving yourself time to separate will keep you motivated and productive.
Turn Your Space into a Sanctuary
If you don’t have the flexibility to block out your schedule for time to work uninterrupted, create an enjoyable workspace for yourself. Use a mix of items that energize and relax you. For example, display pictures of family, friends or pets, plants, décor, items that help you destress, office supplies that make your space more vibrant and enjoyable. Whatever it is – use your office/desk space as a place where you enjoy being.
Relationships as an introvert are crucial. Get to know the coworkers that are on your team, who eat lunch at the same time as you – or coworkers who are geographically close to you. Create friendliness and engage with them. Introverts generally thrive better in one-on-one connections as well. So focus your attention to a few people that you connect well with. This will allow you to enjoy your work more, feel heard, bounce off ideas and provide you with support in the workplace.
Practice, Practice, Practice
If you are in a position where you’re in the spotlight, such as giving a presentation, one of the best ways to feel comfortable is to practice. It’s similar to the way comedians often memorize their skits. For example, spend a vast amount of time preparing and reviewing your material. If you take the time to study and learn the information, speaking in front of people won’t’ seem as challenging. Being prepared will help you feel more confident and more comfortable.
Communicate Where You’re Comfortable
Introverts don’t dislike communication; they just prefer certain ways to communicate. If you’re an introvert who enjoys communicating through more passive platforms such as email or chat, utilize this when you can. Passive platforms allow you to thoroughly explain yourself and provide you with time to think before you share your responses or requests.
However, if you’re in a group setting where communication is verbal and collaborative – you may feel more comfortable observing and listening – and that’s ok! By listening, you can fully grasp the tasks being shared and come up with a solution or plan independently. Regardless, utilizing your strengths in these settings are the best ways to contribute effectively.
How do you thrive in the workplace as an introvert?