As an introvert, I can honestly say that I had no idea how to even measure success for myself, or how to achieve success without putting myself in constant terrifying social scenes that weren’t me. Being in an office setting both excited me and frightened me all in one breath.
To make matters even crazier, I was a full-on introvert who was also a PR girl—a public relations manager. In case you’re unaware, doing any kind of PR work usually calls for extroverts, seeing as your constantly managing daily relationships for and with clients. I was wary about getting started in an extrovert-exclusive career path, but I loved the work. The longer I thrived in my job, the more I wondered if I could hold onto my career without trying to pretend to be an extrovert.
Luckily, I’ve been in the workforce for years, and I have to say that when it comes to all kinds of work, we introverts have a lot to offer. Introverts in the workplace are just as necessary as extroverts. It’s all about balance in functions and embracing your strengths while recognizing and working on your weaknesses.
Its time to celebrate your personality type, and stop seeing it as something holding you back.
Focus On What You Enjoy
Believe it or not, there are very famous and successful introverts out there. Being a successful introvert starts with doing the things that you’re good at and actually enjoy. How can you make these things work for you? As I started out in my career, I realized I enjoy anything involved with reading and writing. So I took on the projects that involved both, and I got better at it by doing it so often.
Eventually, anything related to writing was assigned to me, and I was being recognized for the work that I enjoyed doing.
I hate being in any kind of situation where I feel caught off guard. Feeling unprepared at any level made me immediately anxious. Besides, we introverts are always best when we’ve done our research and feel like we’ve had a chance to sort out our thoughts. It’s also a terrible feeling to leave a meeting without saying something on my mind, or being completely silent the entire time.
That’s why I always like to stay ahead of anything coming my way. I jot down any notes so I know what to say, and sometimes, I even rehearse them so I don’t get flustered if I’m put on the spot.
Learn to Reflect
I’ve never been great with communicating outwardly, but I could always get out everything I needed when I was writing to myself. Doing weekly or daily reflections are a great way to look back at your day and accomplishments, and to also work out anything in your head that bothered you.
Stop trying to be an extrovert. I cringe at the thought that plenty of us introverts, even myself, have been in situations where we pretend to be extroverted to blend in. Frankly, pretending is so exhausting and just not worth the upkeep. I like to remind myself of all of the things I’ve been able to accomplish as an introvert and remind myself that it works for me.
Push Your Limits
Don’t pretend to be an extrovert, but don’t also stay in your shell because it’s comfortable for you. If you’re not doing something outside of your comfort zone, then you’re not growing. I love to challenge myself at least once a day to do something that pushed my boundaries.
I am the kind of person that needs to be alone for a significant amount of time to just unwind. I prioritize my alone time and make it clear to my boyfriend after a stressful workday that I need to do something for me. The everyday interactions are draining to me sometimes. So it’s essential for me to be alone to recharge.