Every individual is unique, and the label “introvert” can cover a wide range of personalities. While the trait is often associated with social anxiety or awkwardness, many introverts can function extremely well in any social setting, when they have to.
Simply put, an introvert is someone who prefers to work and relax by himself, or in the company of only a few other people. This may put them at a disadvantage in many careers where dealing with people is a requirement, but they often have strengths that extroverts can’t claim; for instance, a very extroverted person might find it very difficult to complete a project by himself. Neither way to be is necessarily good or bad.
Tip 1: Don’t beat yourself up because of your personality. Being an introvert doesn’t make you worth less as a person or a professional.
Kinds of Jobs Introverts Love
Most people are neither completely introverted nor totally extroverted, but behave differently depending on the situation they find themselves in. This is fortunate for introverts, since most professions require at least some interaction with others. Everybody should know where on this sliding scale they fit in, or they may be pursuing a career which will always make them unhappy.
If you find yourself wondering what the point of large meetings is, tend to listen more than you talk, and often focus on the details of a task, you are probably introverted to some degree. Ask yourself whether the job you have now is truly suited to your personality. Perhaps you really have good reason to hate your customers and coworkers; but just maybe you’re frustrated with them simply because of the time you’re forced to spend together.
Tip 2: Evaluate yourself and how you really feel about your job.
Even if it means a career change, take some time to do some research on jobs where you will mostly be working by yourself, such as computer programming or online work. This can only add to your happiness, and you may be able to move within your current company or industry without too much fuss.
Tip 3: Everybody should be happy at work, or at least not constantly miserable. See what your options are.
Although by no means all introverts are shy, many of them don’t do well at marketing themselves, nor interview well. The only way to truly overcome this handicap is by practicing being in situations which may be uncomfortable to you. Just like learning a new language, putting yourself out there and allowing yourself to make mistakes is the only way to progress. You might even deliberately – though temporarily – take a job where you are constantly required to interact with other people. Even if this is initially distressing, you will soon notice that you’re coping better.
Tip 4: Shyness or social anxiety can really hold back your career, but it is possible to overcome these problems.
What’s your tip?