Best Career Tips for Every Introvert
Being an introvert in a world where having a dynamic personality is very much in demand, is indeed no small feat. Introverts or introversion and extroversion form a central dimension of all human personalities. Popularized by Carl Jung, both these terms describe the two dominant personalities amongst people. While extroverts are generally seen to be outgoing, talkative and having a dynamic behaviour, introverts are seen to be just the opposite. Introversion tends to be manifested as being reserved and displaying antisocial behaviour.
Apart from these two personalities, people can be ambiverts as well. This is when a person falls between both these personalities. Ambiverts can be comfortable with groups and in spending time alone by themselves as well.
There’s no doubt that it can indeed be difficult for introverts to progress in a world where having a dashing and shining personality is much in demand. Interviewers also tend to prefer someone who comes across as a team player and is able to get their point of view across clearly. However, while it may seem to be an impossible task, introverts can perform exceptionally in many careers and job interviews.
Here are some career tips for the introverts amongst us.
Many of us go through life without actually paying any attention to what kind of personality we have. Usually, it is found that the kind of character a person has, his or her social group also comprises of similar minded people. If you are unsure about what type of personality you have or if you have a shadow of doubt that you are secretly introverted, then you can identify yourself more clearly through some of these points.
- You don’t like to indulge in small talk and usually only speak up in a group when the topic is of interest to you.
- It’s not true that all introverts are shy. Being an introvert does not mean you are afraid to interact with people. It just means that you need a reason to interact socially.
- Introverts can come across as being rude since they do not tend to beat around the bush with pleasantries.
If you find yourself avoiding interaction with a large social group or feeling uncomfortable in general party settings, it is more than likely that you are an introvert.
Being an introvert becomes a disadvantage when you have to network for getting a good job. However, by following these tips, you can beat the anxiety and carry on networking like a pro.
- Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the crowd, focus your mind on your goal that is, making a couple of meaningful connections.
- You can introduce yourself to the potential clients through an email beforehand so as to develop a contact with them well in advance.
- If you are unsure about yourself, then bringing along a co-worker can be helpful.
- As introverts are natural listeners, it is better for them to keep the conversation rolling on a casual tone.
- Close the conversation by finalizing a time to meet in the future.
- As it’s not in an introvert’s nature to love big crowds, it’s a good idea to practice what you are going to say beforehand.
Networking is a major step to advancing your career, and by keeping these tips in mind, you should sail smoothly through the entire process.
Being introverted should in no way hamper your hunt for the perfect job. However, you have to keep in mind that finding the correct job and working environment that makes you feel comfortable is important. You will only be able to flourish in a work environment that makes you feel comfortable. You need to find a company culture and job responsibility that will fit well with your personality. Even if the job is challenging, it’s important that you are left feeling miserable about working in that job profile. Seek positions that will cater to your introversion strengths. As introverts work well alone, you should ideally choose a position that allows you to do that, instead of a lot of collaborative projects.
It’s easy to love your job when the job matches your personality as well. For example, being an introvert, having a job as a salesperson that involves interacting with people all day long, is definitely not going to sit well with your personality. As introverts tend to work best along and are focused, they can give excellent attention to detail. They also enjoy concentrating on one task at a time instead of spreading themselves out all over the place. Some industries that are ideal for introverts include:
- Museum work
- Animal care
- Information technology
- Science and research
Some ideal jobs for introverts include:
- Social media manager
- Computer programmer
Here are some tips that can help you shine through your interview:
- Meeting new people can increase the anxiety levels in introverts, so it is better to avoid keeping too many interviews in one day. Devote your complete focus and energy to that company and interview.
- Spend time researching about the company so that you can use this data to visualize your interview better.
- Prepare yourself for typical questions that may arise during the interview.
- If you come across an unexpected question during the interview, have some stalling technique prepared beforehand.
- Have some small talk prepared beforehand to cut out the initial awkwardness.
- Market across your introvert qualities such as being creative, attention to detail, thoughtful, working well independently, etc.
- If you prepare well in advance for the interview, there is no doubt that even being an introvert; you will sail through the interview smoothly.
Being an introvert, you have certain skills that can help you get hired. In order to do so, you will have to highlight your skill set on your resume. Some of the top skills that employers seek in an ideal candidate to hire include:
- Communication skills
- Customer service skills
- Soft skills – these apply to every job
- Leadership skills
Apart from this, also highlight any hard skills that you have. Hard skills cater to the job profile precisely. These may include computer skills, financial and accounting skills or administrative skills.
The first day at a new job can be overwhelming for everybody, not just introverts. It is particularly intimidating for introverts, though, as they tend to feel uncomfortable in big groups or at orientation. Some tips that may help you to get the correct start to your new job are as follows:
- You may be tempted to say yes to every invite, every lunch, etc. However, if you know for sure that you will be uncomfortable in the situation, opt out of it by politely declining at the beginning itself.
- Try for one-on-one social interaction with your colleagues or stick to small gatherings.
- Be ready to have a small introduction prepared about yourself so that you don’t get in any awkward first-day situations.
- Openly share your working style with your colleagues. You can casually make it a part of your introduction.
There are certain career paths that are tailor-made for introverts. By opting for a career test before joining the workforce, you might be able to get a better idea as to which line of work you fit better into. Career tests are based on your personality and psychology. They work on the premise that your psychological type will be a determining factor in the choice of career that is an ideal fit for your personality as well. While these tests only work as an indicator, sometimes by taking a couple of career tests or quizzes, you might be able to gain clarity on the correct career path for yourself.
It is true that while introverts can train themselves to hone their customer service and teamwork skills, it is highly unlikely that they will suddenly perform well in jobs that require public speaking and socializing. Some of the best jobs for introverts are listed below:
- Interpreter or translator – this is a particularly great option for introverts as it allows them to interact on a one-on-one basis with their employer.
- Private investigator – Also another job that allows introverts to work by themselves
- Paralegal – another job profile where there is little or no interaction with clients.
- Medical Records Technician – involves a lot of individual organization work.
- Freelance writer – can work from the comfort of their home and no socializing is involved.
- Accountant – deal with numbers rather than people.
- Computer Programmer – spend your day behind a computer screen writing code.
- Lab Technician – you can diagnose patients and not have to interact with them.
- Computer Programmer
- Political scientist
Just because you are an introvert, does not mean that you have to avoid interacting with other people or stay glued to your work. While you may find it a waste of time to make small talk with others, there is no denying that interacting socially is an important step to help you progress further in your career. You can engage in office networking for a few minutes each day. At least interact with your immediate colleagues and who knows, maybe you will make a friend along the way as well. Or, perhaps you will more introverted colleagues who can get along well with.
You have to learn to be flexible in order to achieve significant benefits. You have to get to mould yourself in social conditions so that you can show a different part of your personality to different people, allowing yourself to relate better to your workgroup. This does not involve changing your personality or going against your principles. You can be friendly and not open yourself up to others at the same time as well. Simply put, adaptability will help you move ahead on the corporate ladder as no one wants to be associated with the ‘grouch’ of the office either.
It is indeed difficult to be an introvert and survive in an extrovert-dominated world. However, one must strive for a successful career at the same time. Therefore, achieving a balance can often prove difficult for introverts. By following the tips and tricks mentioned above, you will have a much better chance of blending into your office environment seamlessly. By exercising some social introvert skills, you will be able to put yourself in front of your colleagues and employers, who can then appreciate you and recognize you for your skills, and not just judge you based on your introverted personality. Furthermore, by choosing the correct career path, you will be able to avoid many uncomfortable situations that may arise in the future. Therefore, choosing career options such as being a freelancer or a translator/interpreter, you can achieve success while feeling comfortable with your work environment.
About the Author -
Erica Richards is an English translator. She can’t resist herself from reading a novel. Besides loving those amazing pieces of literature, she works as content strategist for United Translations.
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