How to Thrive As an Introvert at Work

Setting your boundaries, saving time for yourself, and taking the time to listen carefully are just some of the things introverts can do if they wish to excel at work.

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introvert at work

Introverts now have many tools they can use to manage just about any situation they are thrust into. Smartphones make conversations less awkward and streaming services allow you to catch some great movies while staying at home. Even getting around town no longer requires mingling with a lot of people thanks to the advent of ridesharing.

However, there is still one place where being a natural introvert can be a source of struggle. The place in question is the workplace.

Working with people you don’t know well is intimidating. Properly dealing with your superiors can also be a significant obstacle.

All that said, the workplace doesn’t have to be a difficult environment for introverts. Use the tips detailed below so you can thrive in that setting.

Establish Boundaries

Many co-workers like socializing outside of the office. When work’s done on a Friday, it’s common to see people from the same office hanging out and having some drinks.

Although enjoying some drinks with your co-workers doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world, it may not be something you’re itching to do either. You may prefer to just stay in and relax after a long week at work.

Feel free to say no to after-work drinks if you’re not interested. Remember that heading out to the bar with your co-workers is merely an option. Staying home is perfectly fine and it won’t affect your standing at work.

Try not to stress out about participating in social events because your boundaries matter as well.

Enjoy Some Alone Time When Possible

Many introverts like spending their free time alone. If you can get that at work, your performance may improve significantly.

Use your breaks to recharge whenever possible. Have lunch in your favorite spot and enjoy your meal in peace. You can also use your break to catch up on some reading or your favorite shows.

Free time is hard to come by over the course of a workday. Make sure you’re using what precious free time you have the way you want to.

Be an Attentive Listener

The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. It’s a good quote to keep in mind in general, but it is especially helpful to introverts in the workplace.

Chances are that you don’t enjoy asking people to repeat themselves if you are introverted. You already know you messed up by not listening and you would much prefer not to draw attention to your error.

To avoid putting yourself in that position, you should make it a point to listen carefully. Devote your full attention to whoever’s speaking so you can understand what you need to do right from the start.

Aside from helping you avoid awkward situations, listening attentively can also turn you into a more productive worker. Since you know what to do immediately, you’ll be able to finish your tasks in a timely manner.

Utilize Messaging Apps

Workplace communications have changed thanks in large part to messaging apps such as Skype and Slack. Walking over to your superior to ask a question is no longer necessary. You can simply shoot them a message on one of those apps and receive a quick response.

Many of those apps also allow you to set your status. Set your status to “do not disturb” if you would prefer not to be interrupted while you are working.

Take Ownership of Your Work

Lastly, we want to stress just how important it is for you to take ownership of your work. It will be easy for others around you to take credit for your work if they know you won’t speak up. Let them get away with that often enough and people may start to think that you don’t contribute much to the team.

We know it’s not easy, but you need to stand behind your work. Take credit for your accomplishments so you can receive the recognition you deserve.

Every now and then, standing out is not a bad thing. That sentiment rings especially true when it comes to the workplace.

Introverts can excel in any setting and the workplace is no exception. Follow the tips highlighted above and realize your full potential as a member of the workforce

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