When you're an introvert, the workplace environment can be incredibly stressful--especially if you've landed in the middle of one of those "open office" floor plans where it seems as though people are on top of you every minute of every day. Thankfully, there are ways to make it easier to interact within your office environment. Anyone can be successful--and in fact, being an introvert may work to your advantage in the office.
1. Communicate in a way that's comfortable for you.
Send an email or a text instead of making a phone call to coworkers. Let them know that this is the way you prefer to communicate. While this may not work in every situation, many offices may be willing to make accommodations if you prefer not talking on the phone. Sending texts and emails will also allow you to take the time to think through what you want to say before you say it, which can be very beneficial for many introverts.
2. Rehearse it ahead of time.
There's little more daunting for an introvert than the need to make a phone call to someone outside the office--especially a client, and most particularly one who is known to be vocal about their needs and desires. If you know you have a call coming, take the time to rehearse it ahead of time! Imagine what you're going to say and how you'll answer critical questions. You might not be able to anticipate everything, but you can go a long way toward increasing your personal comfort level with the conversation.
3. Find a quiet space.
This may mean finding a quiet space within the office that you're able to call your own or taking your lunch somewhere quiet instead of spending it in the middle of the office surrounded by people. Acknowledge that you need that quiet time to refresh yourself and take the steps necessary to make it happen.
4. Remember to take credit for your work.
You don't have to loudly insist that the entire office applaud your accomplishments, but you should take credit for them. While it might not matter who the office thinks finished the most important details on a project, it does matter what your boss thinks--so be sure they're familiar with your contributions.
5. Check your presentation.
You don't have to be comfortable with public speaking--or with speaking to people--to pretend that you are. Keep your head high, make eye contact, and use a clear voice to express yourself. This will help maintain an aura of confidence around you that your boss and your coworkers will be delighted to see.
6. Stay thoughtful.
If you have trouble participating in a fast-paced conversation or struggle to collect you thoughts quickly, it's all right to maintain an attitude of thoughtfulness during meetings and events. If you do have something to say, you can speak up right then or wait until later, offering a key insight to your boss through email or text if that's more comfortable for you. Sitting back and observing can help you absorb more about what's really going on during the meeting or offer deeper insight into a problem, since you'll be spending more time thinking about the issue and less time thinking about what you're going to say.
7. Pay attention to that critical work/life balance.
As an introvert, the work day may be harder for you than it is for many of your colleagues. As a result, it's important that you find time to rest, renew, and participate in activities that renew your energy when you're not at work. Maintaining that balance will make you a more effective employee and increase your happiness outside the office.
As an introvert, you can experience success in the workplace! If you need help finding a new job that will play to your skills, contact us today to learn how we can help connect you with a business that will provide for your needs.