Although introverts face many challenges when searching for a job, their knack for self-reflection is a major advantage. Introverts
can thrive in any career but finding the right work environment is key.
SkillsTalk will cover how to put the skill of self-reflection to work and ask yourself these six important questions when hunting for a job.
1. What are my strengths?
Before applying for any job, it’s important to identify your strengths. These are the traits that will sell you to a potential employer.
Along with your experience, achievements and skills, your introversion is also a strength.
Introverts tend to be:
- Independent workers
- Great listeners
- More likely to think before they speak or act
- Insightful and empathetic
- Supportive and team-oriented
This is not to say that introverts are superior to extroverts, or that extroverts can’t also be these things. Introverts simply draw their energy inward, therefore their interactions with others are more carefully considered. Introverts bring a different dynamic
to the mix and can benefit any workplace with their highly thoughtful nature.
If you can play off these strengths and find ways to highlight them during the job-hunting process, you’ll be better able to show your personality in a positive light. And don’t forget to consider other strengths that are not related to your introversion, such as your achievements, experience and other positive personality
2. What kind of work environment would suit me?
Introverts tend to thrive in quiet work environments where they can work independently and with few distractions. A team that works in an open space and communicates primarily through team meetings may leave an introvert feeling rundown and burnt out.
This is not because they are shy or anti-social; introverts require time to themselves
because social interactions drain their energy.
When you’re searching for a job, consider your needs and the work environment that would best suit your personality. Ultimately, the most important thing is to figure out what elements create a productive workspace
for you and find a work environment that meets those needs.
3. What skills or attributes do I bring to the table?
When you ask this question, try to go beyond the hard skills you’ve acquired and consider what soft skills
you bring to the table. Introverts tend to be self-aware, but it may be helpful to ask friends, family or former co-workers to help you define beneficial traits and skills that you bring to the workplace. Turn to your past work experience and job responsibilities to round out your list of related skills and attributes.
4. How do I want to be perceived in the workplace?
Introverts tend to prefer roles that are more specialised than generalist. This is because they can use their expertise to solve problems and achieve great things. Even if you are more reserved than your co-workers—being a reliable, focused and hard worker can serve as your defining characteristic.
Do not be overly concerned if you aren’t the ‘life of the party’ in the workplace—there are plenty of ways to make your mark at work without completely changing your identity.
5. What areas can I improve on?
Just like any other job seeker, there are certain skills that you may be lacking or want to improve on to increase your chances of being hired. Everyone is unique, but many introverts struggle with things like;
Staying focused in busy environments.
Interruptions can throw off an entire day. Introverts can get easily distracted, and constant interruptions can be frustrating. Finding ways to focus and handle interruptions can help you thrive in a wider range of work environments.
In team meetings, introverts tend to remain quiet because they want to contemplate their response before speaking up. But when introverts are in a space where they feel comfortable and respected, it’s much easier for them to share ideas and opinions.
Some ways you can break this barrier of silence are to prepare beforehand, take notes and make at least one point during any meeting. As your confidence improves, so will your participation in meetings.
In many ways, the introvert’s quiet nature is what makes them special. They are passionate about the things they care about, and they become open books around like-minded people they feel comfortable around. However, many introverts dread and struggle with small talk. Open working spaces can also make it difficult to stay focused because introverts may feel too exposed or trapped into making conversation.
Working on your interpersonal skills
can help you overcome this hurdle or at least have the confidence to get through these situations.
Some roles will require you to operate outside of your comfort zone, where you may be tasked to lead a team project or provide critical feedback. If these are skills that aren’t innate to your personality, you may need to acquire them through training
6. How can I embrace my introversion?
The modern workplace is constantly evolving to help include and support all types of personalities. An estimated 25-40% of the population
is introverted, so workplace cultures are shifting to nurture and accommodate the introverted personality type.
Finding ways to embrace – rather than fight – your introversion can help you find a workplace where you thrive and are accepted and respected by your co-workers.
Study an online course that matches your introverted personality type
Whether you're looking to make a career switch that is more accommodating to your traits as an introvert, studying an online course
with Upskilled can give you the opportunity to work towards the career of your dreams. Get in touch with one of Upskilled's education consultants today to have a chat about your objectives and find the right career for you!