Playing to your strengths as an introvert to get ahead in an organization
Four easy ways to get ahead without draining energy
In one of my podcast sessions, one of the guest speakers, Jalyn Isley, talks about her experience working as an introvert. To get ahead in the workplace, you need to have a vision, develop a plan, tap into your creative/problem-solving ability, have strong interpersonal skills, ensure fearless execution and develop a strong reflective practice. However, doing any one of these things can be daunting and stressful when you draw energy and strength from being alone. Introverts are not necessarily anti-social, neither does it mean they are always shy or hidden in a corner. It simply means that they draw energy from spending time with themselves. Social situations and high-pressure expectations can be excessively draining. Nevertheless, there are still ways they can thrive as intrapreneurs. Here are three ways an introvert can get ahead in an organization.
- Manage Up
Talk to your boss about your needs and how you thrive so they understand your quirks. You can write out what you want to discuss ahead of the meeting so you know what points you want to hit. You can also use that as an opportunity to ask your boss about their style and experience working with introverts. This will help you know how best to navigate their style.
- Write Everything First
Before you lead a meeting or volunteer an idea or put yourself out there, write your thoughts and ideas ahead of the meeting so you come in ready and equipped. Write. Write. Write.
She says writing helps her feel less alone and anxious. I agree that writing is important as well because you are more organized and a bit more prepared even when there are curveballs.
- Network Through Experiences
If you do not draw energy from social situations, then focus on building connections one on one through games/ activities that require less conversational interaction. She talks about building moments with people instead of mindless chatter.
When you have a hobby/ game/ activity in common, it centers that activity as the conversation while allowing you to build more natural and long-lasting relationships. Skip the small talk and focus on experiences.
- Lead Introvert Activities
Similar but different from the point on networking, you can lead introvert activities within your organization to show off your abilities to “create”. That way you get to do something you like, you show leadership and you maintain your sanity. It is awesome to model what
Check out the full episode here and let me know if you have other ideas about how to leverage being an introvert in the work environment.