2 Ways Introverts Impact their Career Goals (and what to do)

2 Ways Introverts Impact Their Career Goals
The Importance of Understanding Who You Are

If you’re reading this, chances are you are an Introvert, or think you are. That probably means you have some idea of specific behaviors associated with your personality.

The question I would like you to ponder about your personality is: When or where is your introversion creating issues in your career?

I believe it’s important for you to understand as much as you can about your Introvert personality. I also think you need to have awareness of where it might not be serving you so you can pursue meaningful improvements.

In my work with “our type” of career clients, I started seeing some trends of challenges that were limiting their professional potential. I’d like to bring these to your attention for some self-awareness and at the same time, offer some solutions.

Issue: Not developing, nurturing and expanding your network.

We do like to focus on work and tasks which can often times mean we ignore nurturing our networking and meeting new people. Add to that issue, most of us would rather lick the floor than go to a cocktail party or networking event. I get it. Those things suck the energy right out of your battery and competing with louder more talkative people for talk time is no fun. In other words, there are all sorts of good Introvert reasons this issue exists.

Solution: No, I’m not going to tell you to turn into an Extravert (notice I spelled it with an “a” — that’s me being all proper!)
You don’t have to become a party gladiator. In fact, all you really need to do is to pay attention to people you encounter in your job. You may have vendors, customers, and co-workers at your disposal. Enough to keep you busy for a long time. Take time every day to get to know these people better. If that circle is too small, no problem.
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You can also:

  1. Get on Linked In and reconnect with college friends and co-workers from previous jobs.
  2. Get better acquainted with your neighbors or people in a group you belong to (like religious group, hobby, etc.)
  3. Pay attention to the people you encounter like at Starbucks, the gym or your massage therapist.

When you really get the wheels turning, you’ll suddenly discover tons of people out there you can get to know fairly easily. This also plays to our personality of forming and nurturing relationships one person at a time. Pure gold! 

Issue: Not developing relationships with decision makers.

While we’re busy ignoring our network, we are usually ignoring relationships with upper management. This kind of behavior is sometimes looked at with disdain because it can come off as a “suck-up”. I’m here to say, it’s important and which would you rather have: 1- the high moral ground that you’re not a suck-up or 2- a promotion? I hope you picked #2.

You need to understand that management is the decision makers over your next promotion or opportunity to excel.

They need to know 2 things about you:

1- What and how you are doing that is noteworthy, especially to them.
2- Whether or not you “get it” about what’s important to them.

In order for your leader to know these things, you need to develop a working relationship with them. They need to know not only how you do your work, they need to know if you have their back. In other words, do you know and understand their priorities? The only way is if you spend time with them, develop a relationship and support what’s important to them.

Yes, it’s all about them. It always is. Your customer is the big “C” or management or both. Until your customer knows you understand what’s important to them and will support them, decisions will go to others.

Understanding your personality is important as long as you understand how to lean into the parts that work well for you and have strategies for the parts that don’t work as well. The strategies for improvement are simple but powerful for your long-term success.

About Dorothy

Dorothy Tannahill-Moran is the Introvert Whisperer, Career & Leadership, speaker and author.

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