Believe it or not, introversion is a very common personality trait.
However, when it comes to career advice, many solutions to common career inquiries have an underlying assumption that the reader is or can be extroverted.
New hires are encouraged to attend group work sessions, participate actively in meetings, as well as socialize frequently with co-workers. While it can improve interpersonal relations within the workplace, it may not be well liked by a group that makes up 30 to 50 percent of the population: introverts. Although introverts may be some of the most charismatic people in the world, they often feel most energized and productive while in solitude. In a world full of extroverts, it’s important to find solutions specific to your personality in order to work effectively as well as stay sane. Keep reading for 4 solutions made for you, the introvert in the work place.
1. Pick The Job That Makes Sense For You.
Sometimes, the simplest solution lies in finding roles that fit your personality. If you categorize yourself as an introvert, you probably prefer companies with quiet workspaces or positions that allow a reasonable amount of autonomy. “Cerebral jobs”, or jobs that assign each person to work on a specific problem and then synthesizing the results, tend to be a better fit for the more introverted. While collaboration simply cannot be completely avoided in most job positions, the more reserved people will perform better within teams that operate with clearly defined roles for every member.
2. Plan For Recharging.
While finding the right job can help alleviate stress, it is also important to remember it’s still an office – and you still need that time to recharge your batteries.
We know it’s not always possible to work in a closed-door office, so plan strategically the time you need to get refreshed. For example, instead of having several different meetings within two days, scheduling them to be spaced out within a week will leave you less drained.
Along with careful scheduling, it is also relatively easy to take small breaks from the cubicle chatter and socialization every day. Bathroom breaks, stepping outside, and anything else you can do in order to take time for yourself to recharge has proven to be highly beneficial. Lunch breaks are often a good time to step away and recharge in a nearby coffee shop or restaurant.
3. Don’t Over-Commit
As stressful as it may be for introverts to collaborate during work on a daily basis, it is often the social gatherings outside of work that prove to be the most draining. Happy hour, cocktail parties, or networking events cannot be totally avoided, but it is important to keep social commitments manageable. There is no reason to be embarrassed to decline an invitation. After all, it is better, in the long run, to be happy and more sociable at fewer events rather than being stressed and overwhelmed at too many. It’s also important to remember that there doesn’t need to be a goal to interact with as many people as possible at these events. A handful of meaningful, memorable conversations can be more impressive to your network than a dozen “small talk” sessions.
4. Your Personality Matters – Own It
Last but not least, it is crucial to recognize that introversion is an extremely vital leadership quality. Although you might not be as outspoken as your extroverted counterpart, introverts often have the most diligence and drive to solve the most complex problems. Rather than forcing yourself to be social, it is very important to remember to see the strengths in your qualities and embrace them as you develop your career.