Being an introvert does not have to be a barrier to you in any area of your life, certainly not in the world of work. If you’ve dreamed of having a particular career all of your life, you should not be put off from doing so because it seems like a position that’s more suited to an extrovert. If you did that in other areas of life you’d never attend parties, go to the theater or meet new people and your life would be much less rich as a result!
No, if you have your eye on a certain role, even if it is seemingly made for extroverts, you should go for it because there are lots of things you can do to survive in such a role…
Get Qualified Online
If you are worried about going for that promotion or switching to a better career because you know that you’ll need to get certain qualifications before you’ll be considered and you don’t much fancy attending college or night school to get them, check online first. You can work on everything from becoming a qualified accountant to getting your CPR certification online and that will mean that you don’t have to spend quite as much time around other people if you don’t want to. As long as you choose an accredited course, the qualifications will be absolutely fine and valid, so it is a very good way of doing things if you’re of a less outgoing persuasion.
Go to Work Early
A great tip for surviving and succeeding as an introvert in an extrovert’s role is to snatch as many quiet moments as you can. If you can show up to work even one hour early, you’ll have the place almost to yourself most of the time, which means you can make a start on your to-do list, finish that important project and maybe even have a cup of coffee before the hustle and bustle of your colleagues starts up. By setting up your day like this, it should help you to avoid getting into a cranky mood for the rest of your day.
Preparation is Key
When you have to do something that us introverts don’t really enjoy much such as giving a presentation or attending an important networking event and just the mere thought of it is making your anxious, it’s a really good idea to sit down, take a deep breath and start preparing as much as you can. Rehearse your speech and put yourself in a few less-than-comfortable situations where you have to mingle, but where the results don’t really matter and when the real thing comes along it won’t seem quite so scary. Overprepare and you really don’t have to worry nearly as much about things going wrong.
Go Out for Lunch
I know it’s the done thing in many workplaces to eat at your desk or to at least eat lunch with your co-workers, but as an introvert, you probably need a little more time out than most of your colleagues. So, don’t be afraid to take lunch by yourselves. If your colleagues aren’t as understanding as they should be, just make up an excuse like needing to go to the bank or it being such a nice day that you want to take advantage and slip off to a quiet local coffee shop, diner or park bench to get a little me-time in the middle of the day.
Schedule Some Me-Time After Work
As often as you can, schedule some me-time at home after work. Take the phone of the hook, switch off your cell, don’t answer the door and just lie down on your bed gathering your thoughts or maybe take a hot relaxing bath or even curl up on the couch with your favorite Netflix show for company – whatever helps you to recharge your batteries, do it as often as you can as soon as you get home from work, to mitigate against all of that extroversion at work.
Make Your Commute More Enjoyable
If you have a commute of more than a few minutes to your workplace, take that extra me-time you have in the morning and make the most out of it by listening to a podcast you love, playing a little classical music or even walking to work enjoying the sights and sounds of nature around you. If you do this, you’ll ensure that you have more time in the day just for you and you’re far more likely to start the day off right.
Be the Errand Girl or Boy
Okay, so running errands might not be your favorite thing, but think about it, if you offer to go get some more paper for the copy machine or to go out and get sandwiches for your co-workers when you’re working over lunch, you get to steal back a few precious moments to yourself outside of the office that you wouldn’t normally get and your colleagues will love you for volunteering. What’s not to live about that?
Ensure You Have a Healthy Diet
You might not think that your choice of foods and drinks will have any impact whatsoever on how well you’re able to cope in an extroverted office environment, but the fact is that if you drink lots of water and eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, you will feel better in yourself. You’ll have more energy, feel less stressed and on a more even keel mentally and all of these things will help you to get through the day in the best possible way you can.
Even if you don’t think that yoga is the exercise for you, it’s worth giving it a try because so many people – introverted and extroverted- have found solace in their yoga mats. Because the exercise soothes the mind while training the body, it is a great way to relieve stresses and tensions that you pick up at work due to the extroverted environment. You don’t have to go to a class – there are lots of videos that you can practice online – nor do you have to twist yourself up like a pretzel, but doing a little light yoga will really work for you.
Another thing you might want to consider doing is meditating. A lot of people think that this is a bit woo-woo or something that only hippies and monks do, but it is for anyone and it is surprisingly easy to learn – there are even apps that will teach you. Why should you meditate, because it helps you to calm your mind and focus on living in the moment. This can be very helpful when you’re in circumstances that are not exactly ideal because it helps you to get some perspective and find a better way through.
Schedule Little Moments
The ultimate survival tip for an introvert in an extrovert’s world is to build little moments of quiet into your daily schedule. Even if this means heading off to the bathroom and doing a two-minute meditation or walking to another department and back, it will make a surprising difference to how well you feel.
You don’t have to do everything in this post, but if you can incorporate as many of these ideas as you feel inclined and able to, you will have far less trouble trying to fit into an extrovert’s role when you are much more reserved, and what’s more you will thoroughly enjoy every second of your time at work (well almost every second) too. You might be an introvert, but there’s nothing you can’t do!