Workplace success tips for introverts

A lot of us consider ourselves introverts; someone characterized by introspection, enjoying alone time, and preferring small groups for social interaction. While introverts can be just as socially proficient as everyone else, being in a busy office or workplace environment does take an extra toll on them.  

In this issue of the Pulse, we look at strategies introverts can employ to even the playing field and thrive in a socially demanding workplace environment. 

Organizations need introverts. 

The first thing to remember is that introversion is not a liability, but an asset. Introverts bring a lot of value to their roles. For example, introverts often possess great observational skills, keen focus, and the ability to think about problem-solving at a different angle than their extrovert counterparts.  

An effective employer or manager will look to have a balance of personalities and perspectives on their team, and introverts are an important part of that. 

So how can introverts set themselves up for success?  

Take a self-inventory.  

If you don’t know what kinds of social situations drain your battery, or what kinds of environments help you recharge, you’re going to struggle with balance. Do an objective assessment of these factors and compare them with your professional goals.  

Manage your energy levels. 

If you have any sort of freedom over your schedule, as an introvert, you can use this to your advantage. Making strategic calls ahead of time, such as scheduling periods to go on ‘Do Not Disturb’ after meetings or socially heavy tasks.  

Identify quiet spots in your workplace where you can go to avoid excess chatter and traffic and ask your supervisor for assistance in accessing these spaces if needed.  

The point is to be proactive about knowing when you might hit your limits, so you aren’t trying to pour from an empty cup when it comes to your performance at work.  

Network smarter not harder. 

Most professionals need to network as a necessary part of their career advancement. However, for introverts, excessive networking can be challenging and exhausting. If you find this is the case, focus on building deeper, meaningful connections with a few key individuals, rather than casting too wide of a net to keep up with.  

Focus on leadership skills. 

Often – as loathe as many of us introverts may be to admit it – introverted people make fantastic leaders. With natural observation and problem-solving skills, developing the other necessary leadership traits could give you a huge edge up in your workplace.  

Prioritize yourself. 

It’s easy to push your needs to the side, but in the end, this could result in burnout. Ensure you’re taking care of your needs and doing things that fill your cup in order to help you relax, recharge your battery, and keep you in the right mindset for success.  

In conclusion… 

Every workplace needs introverts; but sometimes, the environment can be draining. As an introvert, be proactive about your needs and energy levels to set yourself up for success.