I love to confess that I’m an introvert. People don’t believe me, but seriously, I am. Here’s you you can leverage being an introvert.
Being an introvert doesn’t mean your shy or don’t like to socialize.
Introversion explains how you get energized. Do feel more alive when you are around groups of people or by yourself?
Technically, introversion means you have a preference for:
orientation toward the internal private world of one’s self and one’s inner thoughts and feelings, rather than toward the outer world of people and things.
I’m An Introvert
I grew up in a home with an extremely extroverted father and an introverted mother. I watched and learned from both. Each had flaws and each had advantages.
Over my life, I have tried to lift the best parts of both to work for me. While we are always a work in progress and I am regularly tweaking my behavior and actions, I’ve learned that adapting my style to situations and people is a survival skill, not an option.
While I am sure professionals on the science of this topic might challenge some of what I’ve said, I am using myself as the litmus test and first-hand experience is my witness.
Here are some things to think about:
The Introvert’s Advantage
- Introverts are great listeners. Use that to your advantage to gather information to build rapport! Develop open-ended questions to stimulate conversation.
- Introverts make great leaders, though they often don’t get the spotlight. See more about introverted leaders here.
- Being other-centric is something introverts are really good at. Use this to your advantage by following up with folks and showing interest in what they are doing.
Strategies For Introverts
- You know you need to network more, so make it easier by inviting a friend to go with you to a networking event. Just make sure you split up and meet more people.
- Meeting one on one isn’t as difficult, so line up more of these types of meetings.
- Jump into social media. I think this was invented by and for introverts. Social media is an easy way to “listen” to what others are saying in your network and you can reply one on one!
- Expand your breadth of relationships. I know, quality of relationships is important, but we all need to know more people.
You’ll find more ways to leverage being an introvert during job search here:
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.