Yes, you are an introvert. Introversion is not, and has never been a flaw. For most introverts, the business world can seem a little intimidating. This is because the world, in general, has been geared towards extroverts. According to Susan Cain’s book Quiet, most of the population believes that you have to be extroverted to get noticed, be it in school, or work, or even in the community. For instance, let’s look at a school scenario, where it is the most active kids who get all the attention. These kids could be on the school football team or cheerleaders. On the other hand, the quiet kids at the back of the class barely get noticed.
Extroverts thrive around people and activity, and are quick to share their opinions and thoughts on a topic. This is not the case for introverts. Introverts prefer to be around people in short periods of time, and they also carefully consider all angles of an issue before giving their opinions.
Is it impossible for introverts to succeed in a world that places more value on extroversion? Absolutely not. The key is understanding what special gifts and abilities you–as an introvert–bring to the table. Instead of focusing on all the ways you’re failing to be an extrovert, try to focus on how to succeed and thrive given your unique personality.
Here are a few ways to succeed both personally and professionally in a world full of extroverts:
- Meet like-minded people online
Large, noisy parties, or events can be draining for the average introvert. This is because they are not wired like extroverts, who excel in such environments. For this reason, it is important for introverts to try and build connections with people who are like them online. This will help them grow their network, as well as save time.
- Communicate via written often
As an introvert, verbal communication can be hard. Unlike extroverts, we prefer to carefully analyze situations and issues before contributing to a conversation. This can be used to our advantage by writing down our ideas before setting up meetings with people. It will help us to stay organized during conversation and will help out in the case of awkward silences.
- Do not overstretch yourself
After a long day at work, it is not uncommon for introverts to be exhausted from all the interactions of the day. In times like this, nothing sounds better than going back to a quiet house and unwinding with maybe a good book or a bottle of wine. While your extroverted colleagues will want to meet up at the bar down the street after work, it important to ask yourself whether you have the energy to go out and socialize. It might be beneficial for you to realize that you cannot handle social interactions during the weekday, and instead schedule those interactions for the weekend.
- Occasionally step out of your comfort zone
Throughout your life, you will find yourself in a room surrounded by extroverts. In instances like these, it is only natural for you want to go hide in a corner and let everybody else do the talking. This can be improved by taking some course that can help you in situations like this. Also, practicing your public speaking skills can be a great tool as it will help you, as an introvert, get better at networking.
- Focus on your “introvert strengths”
In a world full of extroverts, being an introvert can definitely feel like a disadvantage but it all comes down to how you play your strengths. As an introvert, you have great listening skills because you actually pay attention to what the other person is saying. You can also spot things that others may miss when it comes to group dynamics. It is important for you to be aware of your strengths as an introvert and work on developing them so you can use them to your advantage.
- Look for a job that suits your personality
Not all jobs are going to be a good fit for introverts. Introverts are well suited in jobs that value attention to detail, great listening skills, and the ability to work independently. An example of such jobs would be accounting, data analyst, IT consultant, and freelance writing.
In a world that values extroversion, being an introvert can be a challenge. However, recognizing the strengths and abilities that come with being an introvert can actually give you an advantage in many personal and professional situations.