When you think of a CEO, what kind of person do you see? Is it the “people person” who always has new ideas at staff meetings? Or is it the person who gives genuine but short greetings, and submits ideas one-on-one or even through email?
Chances are, you’re thinking of person 1, the Extravert. In the article “Can Introverts Get Ahead in the Workplace?” Kristina Cowan looks at how an Introvert can make themselves more successful in the American workforce. “Can Introverts get ahead in the workplace” talks about how Introverts can make the best of their abilities in a workforce with “the Extravert Ideal.” It’s not about catching up; it’s about making your work and efforts more noticeable and recognizable. Remember, everyone has introverted and extraverted tendencies, so take a look at how you work and see if any of these tips can help.
3 tips discussed in the article:
- Get comfortable discussing your accomplishments and strengths
- Recognize strengths you can cultivate and use to promote yourself
- Focus on your listening skills
These are really useful. Often introverts don’t talk themselves up as much as they should. When you’re comparing your work to what an extravert would be doing, sometimes it doesn’t even look like you’re doing the same job. However, an introvert’s skills are just as useful and relevant, and you need a mix of both in order to have a successful workplace, according to Cowan. Once you’ve figured out your strengths, you can play to them, and focus on accomplishments that will help you stand out. In addition, you know what makes a great leader? A great listener.
Another thing not mentioned in this article is work environment. There are certain environments that a person thrives in. Even within those environments there are jobs that will help you soar and others where you will merely coast. Take some time to figure out what kind of environment you will be most comfortable in.
Here are some things to consider:
- Office set up: Do you prefer cubes, open, or offices?
- Idea input: Are there ways to have your ideas heard without throwing them out in public?
- Spotlight: Do you prefer to be in the spotlight, or behind the curtain?
- Collaboration: Do you want to be working with others most of the time, or individual work?
Tailor the type of job and the type of work environment you look for to how you work best. If you can’t focus on your work, you won’t be doing your best.
Here are some resources for further research:
- If you don’t know what type of environment you’d prefer, or you’re not sure if you’re an introvert or extravert (just because you’re shy doesn’t mean you’re an introvert, it’s more about how you re-energize yourself), take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.
- Try the StrengthsQuest to help you figure out your strengths and finding a good environmental fit.
- An article from Forbes that I found that’s really interesting. Karl Moore discusses how workplaces can make the most out of introverts and extraverts.
- The book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain. Here’s her TED Talk about the same topic.