Many careers are suitable for introverts, but let’s face it – the business world, particularly as an employee, is pretty much built for extroverts to thrive. However, if you are finding your introversion is stalling your career, you might find more success by going freelance. There are plenty of reasons why – which we’re going to go through right now.
Whereas extroverts thrive in the cut and thrust activities of daily work life in a busy company, introverts thrive in solitude. Being a freelancer removes you from the hustle and bustle and gives you that solitude, where you can brainstorm, ideate, draft up your work and execute your projects on your terms. You need to be self-motivated, of course, but the reality is that working in an environment that is entirely free of distractions, rather than a busy office, will increase your creativity and efficiency.
Embracing the technology
Modern technology – particularly cloud tech – means you no longer need to be sitting in a busy office to get things done. You can access tools such as Office 365 for Business, Skype, project management software like Trello, and pretty much everything you need to access and collaborate with people from your own home. Social media is a boon for introverts, too. It gives you a fantastic opportunity to network with potential clients on your terms.
Using your listening skills
As a freelancer, one of your essential skills will be to listen to your clients. And as an introvert, listening is likely to be one of your innate qualities. It’s a perfect match, and you will be surprised at how knowing what your clients are saying and trying to express can help you win their business. You will be able to ask more relevant questions, offer more profound reflections, and understand what your client wants.
Control your career pathway
As an introvert in a big company, it can be difficult to get recognition. As a talented and introverted freelancer, however, you have a lot more control over your entire career. Freelancing allows you to embrace your introversion, so that you work only when you want to, and work only with people that interest you. And in the vast majority of cases, you will find that you talk to people in one-to-one meetings rather than large meetings with many different people.
To an introvert, the idea of selling yourself in person can be excruciatingly painful. But as a freelancer, self-promotion is a necessary evil. The good news is that there are many ways you can promote yourself as an introvert freelancer. You get to choose the setting where you meet clients, of course – so can plan a meeting at a quiet cafe rather than a conference or noisy meeting. You can use online networking, too, rather than attending meetups. And finally, you can simply let your website do the talking for you. Use testimonials from happy clients rather than self-promotion, and include a portfolio of your best work – it should speak for itself.
If you’re an introverted freelancer, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!