5 Career Hacks for Introverts
Being an introvert can be a great thing. I’m heavily introverted and it fuels my creativity and inspires my inner genius. Yet I truly feel the need to get out of my skin sometimes and just hang out with extroverts. They truly inspire me – sometimes. We all want to be the best at our careers and excel at everything we do. However as an introvert you may find that you aren’t always comfortable with speaking up at meetings or even negotiating that next salary raise. If the latter seems more daunting than taking a bungee jump off a cliff – read on. Here are five career hacks for introverts to excel in the workplace.
Whether it’s volunteering to lead that next high-profile project or negotiating a raise – tell yourself that it’s totally doable. Put your own tracking mechanisms in place to help you achieve these career goals. From documenting all your past projects to making note every time your manager gives you a thumbs-up for a job well done these are all indicators that you having been highly productive and ready for the next challenge. Plus when you’re performance review comes up you will have all these ideas neatly filed about how well you handled all your projects. Your Manager should see you as an employee that doesn’t shy away from a challenge. Offer new ideas for the team’s workplan or identify a problem and come up with some quick solutions to fix it. Always take initiative and go that extra mile when no-one else isn’t.
- Don’t Get too Comfortable in that comfort Zone
Don’t get stuck in your introverted comfort zone. Introverts love being in their own minds. We relish the time and space to think up solutions to complex problems. Introverts are the perfect leaders. We just have one tiny problem. We do this in our heads – and we love it! Ever been in a meeting – and not hearing a thing going on? Or listening to the radio and not hearing what the DJ is saying? That’s because whatever were thinking about in our own heads is way better! Plus if you’re in a meeting you’ll likely want to ruminate over your thoughts before offering up an opinion. Try to relay that awe-inspiring life-changing idea in the workplace without thinking too long and hard. Introverts can change the world! We just need the confidence to translate our ideas. Try to interject and test the waters by getting in a bit each time.
- Try to get out and Network More Often
Networking is a big part of success both in a career and also as an entrepreneur. I’m a big believer in mentorship and getting a career sponsor. Networking doesn’t have to be in these large noisy conference rooms that just seem so overpowering. It can be on your terms. Seek out small groups if you prefer or meeting one-on-one with your preferred networking groups. Stick to what makes you comfortable – you will be on your best if you do it on your terms. Networking has the power to propel your career, introduce you to amazing people and allow you to see and hear about the latest and best industry news in your chosen area.
- Conquer Public Speaking
Most people have a fear of public speaking. Making presentations is usually a big part of some jobs. This can be a source of anxiety for those of us (both introverted and extroverted) who have a genuine fear of public speaking. There are steps you can take to conquer this fear. There are several groups such as “toastmasters” that are designed to help people overcome the fear of public speaking. I hate to say practice makes perfect in this instance but its true! Don’t shy away too often from opportunities that will allow you to grow and showcase the knowledge and expertise you’ve gained throughout your career. You may find that sharing your expertise may be very rewarding especially if its in an area your truly passionate about.
- Take Time to Rest and Renew
While its great to try to be the best at your career – for introverts this happens far differently from extroverts. Introverts thrive on alone time in order to re-energize. It’s not possible for you to re-energize as an introvert if you can’t get your fuel to do so. Taking small walks during the day (even five minutes alone) or finding time to rest after work will give you the time and allow you time to think about how to want to approach upcoming tasks at work. With proper introspection you will feel even more confident in your abilities to succeed on work projects that are demanding of your time and energies.