6 Tips For Introverts Who Have To Travel for Work
People land in different jobs for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes they take a job because it’s something they’re passionate about and will allow them to get paid to do something they love. Other times, people accept a job because they need something that will pay the bills. It’s not always about doing something you want to do.
For introverts, this can happen often, as most jobs require being around people and working as a team.
It can be mentally challenging and physically draining, especially if you’re an introvert who travels for a living. When you get that next assignment and start packing your bags, you get filled with a sense of dread because you’ll have to meet all new people and make personal connections.
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t give up hope. There are ways you can be your introverted self without having to deal with extra stress and anxiety that comes from being social while you travel for your job.
Read on for some tips, so you can start improving your life and enjoying the traveling you get to do while on the clock.
Part of what makes socializing so overwhelming for introverts is that you’re around a large number of people for a greater length of time than you’d prefer. This can make you feel like you’re being crushed on all sides by anxiety, making the socializing harder to deal with and get through. When you feel this common emotion during your next trip, tell yourself to take a mental step back to de-stress.
This will mean different things for different people. For some, it might be useful to mentally list everything you’re going to accomplish during the day that will make your stress worth it. Others might try to picture themselves somewhere else or have a reminder that the uncomfortable feeling of the moment won’t last forever. Whatever it is for you, give yourself a breather and take that step back so you can feel like yourself again.
Sometimes when you deal with customers or even coworkers at times, your voice may rise, or you may use words you wouldn’t normally use to appear more professional. Think of that as your customer service face. If you’re in the mindset that you’re a capable employee who was selected to do your job because you’re good at it, you’ll find renewed strength to be that professional side of yourself until you get to clock out.
Think of it like wearing a mask of confidence that you may not really feel in front of people, but it will help you get through the day. Eventually, you’ll grow into that confidence and won’t have to try to pretend like you’re not anxious — because you won’t be!
Scheduling can get difficult with a busy job, so this tip may not be possible for everyone to do. However, if you have the ability to control your own schedule, try to space things out.
Set meetings fifteen to thirty minutes apart so in that free time, you can go take a walk or work on paperwork to decompress and prepare yourself for your next interaction.
The reason socializing can sometimes feel like it will never end is because you don’t have something specific to look forward to after. To combat that feeling, make activities for yourself each day that you can look forward to when your obligations are completed.
Part of this means learning about how to take care of your mental health while traveling by doing things like setting boundaries or having a time for personal reflection.
On some level, everyone enjoys having time to themselves. You might like to read a book at night or do your grocery shopping on your own. Whatever that thing is, try to work it into your travel schedule because being by yourself can actually be beneficial for introverts.
You may be away for work, but that doesn’t mean you have to push yourself constantly until you get back home. Make sure to spend at least some quality time alone just to breathe.
The flip side of being introverted is that you miss out on making memories with people if you get too comfortable saying no and spending time on your own. Even if it’s just while you’re traveling for work, promise yourself that you’ll say “yes” to at least one social outing.
Do something you’re comfortable with, like taking a walk with a coworker. You could also push yourself out of your comfort zone by going out for drinks or some other kind of social outing that’ll last longer than a half hour.
Sometimes you have to work a job to pay the bills and even it’s one that doesn’t fit well with your true personality. This is all too common for introverts as all jobs require a high level of being social, but it’s especially true for those who have to travel for their job.
It may make working more stressful, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world when you get that email that assigns you to your next trip.
Introverts have the potential to be highly successful traveling employees. It all depends on what you do to deal with your inner challenges while you’re around people.
If you find a good way to cope with social anxieties, you’ll gradually grow more comfortable around people.
Try out some of these tips the next time you’re traveling for work, and you’ll quickly see just how much your trip will improve.
Image by Skitterphoto
Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer