BULLIT: How Modest People Show Off in 2016
Earlier this week, we covered some of the flaws of personality tests like the MBTI. While there’s no question that personality tests are imperfect tools for understanding your behavior, they can lead to some insight about your most basic communication preferences. And for some of us, that means being a little more shy about self promotion than the average person.
Being an introvert in the traditional workspace can feel like an uphill battle. From having to interview with three or four different people just to get the open position, to participating in meetings and presentations all day, many of us return home at the end of the day feeling tired, rather than invigorated.
Even if you don’t identify as introverted, it can be really hard to talk yourself up at the water cooler or get yourself enough face time to make sure you don’t get passed over for a big project.
The thing is, being introverted — or even a little quieter than others — isn’t a weakness. Introverts have skills and abilities that are critical, and even game-changing, in the workplace. The difference is that those skills aren’t always accompanied by a need to shout, look at me! each time you accomplish something. As a result, many of us risk getting passed over for promotions when we let our work speak for itself, rather than having advocates speak on our behalf. We may gravitate more naturally to independent work, and as a result, our hard work may be less visible than the extrovert who is constantly presenting in front of the executive team or taking client calls at his or her desk all day.
At BULLIT, we know that you put in a lot of sweat and effort into making sure your work product stands for excellence. Self-promotion can be uncomfortable for anyone, and so these tips work just as well for anyone looking to make sure they get recognized for their work, regardless of their workplace social circle.
Here our top tips for using BULLIT and our community of anonymous advocates to make sure that you’re not getting lost in the crowd.
- Use the Power of Writing and Online Branding. Nidhi Kush Shah, Personal Branding & Business Networking Skills Expert suggests utilizing your social media channels — like BULLIT, launching soon! — to take the time to organize your thoughts and give people some insight into your personality. She says, “Your writing need not be award-winning. It just need to be out there — in the form of your thoughts, comments, and experiences. Put them all on a professional blog or use one of the social media channels. This way people can get to know you better, without you having to tell them.”
- Going in for an interview? Do your research ahead of time. The more you can set yourself up for success, the better. BULLIT can help you understand the people you’ll be interviewing with a bit deeper, so if you know that you’re going to be speaking with an extrovert, show off your listening skills. This guide on Hubspot suggests going into the interview “knowing the essential points you want to communicate. If you haven’t hit them by the end of the meeting, make sure to carve out the time in a final point.”
- Build a team of cheerleaders. This guide from Monster.com has some great tips, including having your network speak on your behald. Nancy Ancowitz writes, “The people who have the most impact aren’t the ones who are promoting themselves. They’re the ones that other people are promoting.” With BULLIT, you can have your best references speak on your behalf, all the time, and not just at those critical points — like a promotion opportunity or new job interview — when you need advocates the most.
- Ask for feedback on key, measurable things. One of the more uncomfortable experiences that we all share is having an annual performance evaluation once a year. These processes are generally full of meaningless, outdated notes that at best can come across as disingenuous, and at worst as threatening or bullying. Introverts often face feedback that comes from a common misunderstanding of different workstyles; and when you ask for someone to reflect on key, measurable talents — like your imagination or timeliness, key BULLIT metrics, for example — it takes things like “outgoingness” or “culture fit” out of the equation.
- Set yourself up for success. As you’re preparing for your interviews, make sure the company that you’re hoping to join is a place that can embrace and enhance your talents as a true introvert. If you know you gravitate toward working independently, for example, make sure to do some research on the leaders you’ll be working under — check their BULLIT profiles to see what their teams have to say about their leadership ability and whether they trust their employees. Similarly, you can use BULLIT to learn more about the culture — do they value constant face-to-face meetings, or is there space for independent reflection?
No matter whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or somewhere in between, having a cadre of professionals in your corner to cheer on your career is a great asset that BULLIT wants to give you. We’re getting close to opening our community, so if you want to take advantage of some of our tools for building your brand, sign up for updates at BULLIT.me!