4 Strategies For Getting Ahead At Work as an Introvert
Are you the kind of person that let’s others take the lead in a business meeting? Or dreads social occasions? Realize you don’t speak up when maybe you should? It can be tough to be an introvert in a business setting and feel like your contributions and performance are rewarded. Especially, when you feel you are often ignored.
As an introvert, we have much to offer any business and we are needed to provide the necessary balance in any organization. Our assets are numerous. Because we live in our heads a great deal, we observe, assess and think about the various things going on. We’re less prone to emotional outburst and can easily persist when others poop out. Our main issue at work is that because of our active “head life”, we don’t tend to share all of that great thought. When we do, we don’t always exude the most confidence in what we’re saying which sets us up to get ignored. Bummer.
With some advanced thought and planning (which you are good at) you can get your opinion and input heard. It is possible to self promote and advance your career agenda. Don’t worry I’m not going to suggest for you to “get over it.” If it were that simple, you already would have. However, there are some strategies that will work without completely making you cringe.
- Make a “comment” goal – When going to a meeting, make a goal that you will assert your opinion a certain number of times. Sometimes the idea of talking your way through a business meeting is overwhelming to consider. Instead, when you narrow it down to at least x number of times, it is easier to manage. You may want to start with 3 times and work up from there.
- Create your network – You will fair much better in business meetings and hallway chats if you invest your time getting to know people. Because we prefer more intimate, one-on-one conversations, this is a perfect way to explore your mutual opinions on things or get updates. You will find that when you have a network of supporters, they will be more apt to listen or even solicit your input in groups. It doesn’t get any better than this.
- Deliberately schmooze – Introverts tend to like to talk with intent and for a reason. As a result, we seem aloof or shy. You will create a better network of supporters if you go out of your way at least once a day to connect with some one – for no reason other than to be friendly. If this action leaves you scratching your head for what you would schmooze about start with things like asking to go grab a coffee or simply make a comment about some work they are focused on.
- Use updates to self promote – Introverts can be the worst at self-promoting. You need to self promote in order to create value with the management. You don’t have to turn into the obnoxious department jerk; all you need to do is to find opportunities to update the boss, other management and various others with information about projects or solutions you are working on.
Keep in mind that many presidents and CEO’s are introverts. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you can’t make your way to the top of any place you choose. It simply means you have to make some adaptations that will help you get ahead.
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For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook: http://CareerMakeoverToolKitShouldIstayorShouldIGo.com/ From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from www.nextchapternewlife.com and www.mbahighway.com. And check out Dorothy’s new book, “Career Mapping for Climbing Managers – Planning Your Career On Purpose”. You can find the book in print or Kindle on Amazon.