As an introvert, surviving the corporate world can be nothing short of miraculous. Let's be honest, the introvert is not exactly celebrated in the corporate world. Often viewed as closed, shy, and awkward, the introvert can be overlooked for promotions in favor of their more visible colleagues. The corporate world and the office environment can unfortunately be a deliberately harsh environment for an introvert.
Yet the corporate world is also home to many introverts in positions they love. There are still ways to remain true to your happy, introverted self, while enjoying and getting the most out of your work life.
So here a few ways for you, the introvert, to take charge of your corporate life!
The last thing you want to do while starting on the corporate career ladder is pretend you're someone you're not. Being fake in major networking situations might help you do well in one-on-one interactions, but it can cause you major anxiety and prevent you from putting your best foot forward.
Faking who you are means you can’t showcase your true strengths. Keeping up with the facade and the image you have created will become an inevitable struggle. And the end result can be burnout. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Be honest with yourself and others.
Chances are, your manager will notice your introverted strengths and see them as an asset they can use to the business's advantage. Pretending only means you're preventing yourself from being the best employee you can be.
Don’t be intimidated
Don't allow yourself to be intimidated by those who treat your introverted nature as an affliction or a weakness. It’s essential to your professional and personal well-being that you never apologize for being introverted. Remain confident in who you are as an individual and as an employee. Not only will this lessen workplace stress, but others will notice and appreciate your confidence as you begin to show more self-respect.
Don’t feel pressured
Many introverts have complained about the social expectations put on them at work and the amount of stress this causes when they are unable (not unwilling!) to comply. The truth is that an introvert's social tank can quickly run empty. This occasionally means you may have to turn down drinks after work or a group lunch. But don’t feel guilty about doing so. Cut yourself some slack. Do what you can, when you can, and you’ll be much happier.
Build close knit relationships
The office introvert is very rarely the most popular. If anything, they're probably most well-known for being the mysterious ones on the team. Because of this, introverts are the least likely to engage in office gossip or hang around in big groups. Instead, concentrate on building close knit friendships with friendly extroverts and other introverts in the office. There’s bound to be a few who would enjoy your company as much as you’d enjoy theirs.
Play to your strengths
Use your rich inner life to help you produce work worthy of a promotion!
Introverts are naturally good listeners, writers, researchers, and idea generators. They play an important role within the corporate world and are an invaluable part of the team. They can also be an excellent support system in any department. Use these strengths to your advantage to perform above and beyond expectations. If you do so, chances are you'll get noticed.
Don’t forget to recharge
The key to success as an introvert in a corporation is to take any time you can get to recharge your batteries. Make time to get away from it all, even for a little while each day. It is essential to your well-being.
Recharging is too important to overlook. Not doing so can have a noticeable effect on your behavior towards yourself and others, and it can also impact your work performance throughout the day.
Even if you can only get away for 10mins at a time, do so. Hang out in the toilet cubicle for a few minutes (all introverts have done this at some point, so you’re in good company!) Step out of the office to get some fresh air. Go out for lunch or a long walk. Come in early and relax at your desk to get mentally prepared for the workday. Read a book. Flick through a magazine. And don't underestimate the benefits of an early, peaceful commute that avoids the crazy morning rush.
After some time, you’ll begin to find other creative ways to recharge throughout the day. The result will be a sense of relaxation. You'll begin to feel in charge.
Yes, being an introvert anywhere can be challenging, and the workplace is no exception. The good news is, the more you understand about your introversion, the more confident you will become in moving forward with it.