id you know that, according to the Association for Psychological Science, there are four types of introverts? These include social introverts, the type we usually think of, as well as thinking, restrained, and anxious introverts.
Whichever type of introvert you are, you might find that you face challenges when it comes to how to thrive as an introvert employee.
You might find endless meetings overwhelming, working in large teams a challenge, or speaking with your boss to be a nerve-wracking situation.
However, you can thrive. In this article, we’ll cover the top tips and tricks you can use to thrive as an introvert in the workplace.
Finally, you can thrive at your job and finally get the promotion you’re dreaming of. Read on to learn more.
Individual Tips for How to Thrive As an Introvert Employee
Many of the disadvantages of being an introvert in the workplace come from the fact that much work is designed for extroverts, not introverts. However, there are things you can do for yourself to thrive when getting your work done.
Know What Types of Tasks Suit You
One of the reasons introvert struggling at work occurs is because the tasks they’re assigned doesn’t suit them. Introverts often work best at analytical and detail-oriented tasks, where they aren’t surrounded by team members.
They can focus on these tasks, getting them finished, instead of having to work side by side with another colleague.
Schedule a Time to Be Alone
Because the workplace can be an exhausting environment for you as an introvert, it’s important that you schedule a time to be alone. This is especially important as more offices start to have open offices instead of office rooms.
If you can, choose a time when you can book in a quiet area of the office, or even a specific closed office area.
Whether you need a break from the hustle and bustle of office life, or you need a quiet space where you can focus on completing an important task, this can help you focus without the everyday distractions of the office.
Another option is to step outside of your office for a quick walk and going outside of the office to have your lunch.
Show Off Your Skills
You may feel, as an introvert, that your skills aren’t valued in the workplace. But these are important skills, and by showing them off, you can demonstrate your value to your superiors as well as your colleagues.
You’re good at reading situations, observing, and watching what’s going on.
For example, you might pick up on certain things clients or partners are looking for that others don’t pick up on because they’re too busy focusing on company goals. This makes you a valuable team member.
When you do your work solo, which is the situation in which you thrive best, bring attention to how you thrive in that situation.
Demonstrate to everyone how much thorough, detail-oriented work you get accomplished when you’re in the best environment for an introvert.
Ask For Deadlines Far in Advance
If you’re working on a project at work, it can get quite stressful if people are suddenly coming into your office to discuss projects and how you’re getting ahead with them. A way to avoid this is by asking for deadlines far in advance.
Find out what milestones make up each part of your project. Put them in a calendar and share this calendar with your boss. As you complete them, you can provide updates.
If you have any questions about the tasks, you can prepare all your questions in advance and get advice one-on-one from your superiors.
This is far easier than having constant unexpected check-ins or having to reach out when you’re feeling more introverted than usual.
Take On Introvert-Suited Roles
In addition to finding ways to thrive in your current job as an introvert, it may be worth thinking about your career as a whole and how it suits you as an introvert. Are there other jobs that might work better with the skills you have?
Would you feel more comfortable in another environment? For example, working remotely all the time?
Start thinking about these introverted-suited roles. See if there are any ways you can transform your current role into being more similar to these positions. If they aren’t, it might be time to switch jobs.
Team Tips for How to Thrive As an Introvert Employee
When you’re an introvert, it also helps to have introverted work tips for when you’re working on a team. After all, even though you might be able to do some of your work alone, there are some strategies you need to use when working with other employees.
Use the Right Communication Methods
If you’ve been using tools such as Slack recently because you’ve been working from home, this can be a helpful way to communicate with your colleagues as an introvert. However, as we return to the office, you need to find new ways to communicate.
When it comes to large group meetings, you might experience introvert workplace discrimination because you don’t speak up as much as your colleagues.
Fortunately, there’s a solution: to set up one-on-one meetings with your superior. That way, you can talk about any issues you need to or discuss ideas you might have.
If you explain that you’re an introvert to your other team members, you can also set up one-on-one meetings with them to discuss any projects you’re working on together.
Prepare in Advance for Meetings
Sometimes, you might be asked to go to a meeting even though it isn’t your preferred method of communication. In this case, prepare as best as you can for the meeting, taking notes beforehand about what you think you might contribute.
This way, instead of feeling like you’re put on the spot, you’ll be ready to say what you think when someone asks for your opinion.
Additionally, if possible, ask your superiors and team members for a schedule of when meetings will happen. If they can, ask them to also provide details of what will be covered in each meeting.
This way, you’ll have time to prepare with as much advance time as you need.
Ask For Smaller Meetings
Part of what makes meetings so overwhelming for introverts is that they often involve you meeting with a large number of people. If possible, speak to your supervisor or team members about having you take part in smaller meetings.
This won’t always be possible. For example, if there’s a company-wide meeting overviewing a project kickoff, you might have to attend.
However, when it comes to meetings related to progress along the way, you might be able to attend only those that you’re directly involved with.
Listen in Meetings—and Voice Your Reflections Later
When you’re in a meeting at work, it can feel like there’s a lot of pressure to speak your mind. After all, the extroverts in the room with be clamoring to be heard, voicing their opinions, and brainstorming solutions together.
But you can use being an introvert to your advantage. To what you do best, by listening to what everyone says, taking notes as you do.
Later, you can take a look at what’s been discussed, thoroughly reviewing it, and coming up with your own solutions. Craft a response and send it to your manager or team leader.
They’ll appreciate that you took the time to think about everything carefully before voicing your reflections.
When you’re an introvert in the office, this can feel quite lonely. However, if you look around, you might find that other introverts are working in your office, too. If you can, find ways to work on projects with them.
They’ll understand your need for space and the way you communicate. Additionally, see if there any extroverts you can connect with.
Even though some of them may seem competitive, especially if they’re always saying their ideas at meetings, some might enjoy having an introvert beside them in the workplace.
After all, you can use your skills combined to navigate your way in the politics of the workplace.
The extrovert on your side will appreciate your careful insights and thorough ways of solving problems. You, on the other hand, will be able to get help voicing your ideas if others aren’t willing to listen to you directly.
This is one of the best strategies for how to deal with extroverts in the workplace.
Be Open About Being an Introvert and What You Need
By being open to your colleagues and manager about the fact that you’re an introvert, you can help them help you. Explain that you don’t want sudden surprises where you’re expected to suddenly attend a meeting or provide project details without preparation.
This way, you can be prepared for the interactions you have in the office and work most effectively.
Deal With Extrovert Coworkers and Managers Well
It helps to understand how to deal with your extrovert coworkers and managers well. Find out how they communicate best and allow them to shine in their roles. For example, allow them to make presentations.
You, on the other hand, can provide the feedback that only an introvert can give. You can do this by providing them with notes later on via email.
By respecting their communication methods, they’ll respect yours too. It’s all about figuring out how to set up communication so you can all work together on an equal footing.
Use Boundaries Correctly
As an introvert, having the right boundaries is important. You need to be clear about how much availability you have, how much you can contribute in meetings, and whether you prefer to be approached at certain times.
However, if you simply set boundaries but don’t follow through with them, they won’t be effective.
Even though it may be difficult, you have to be firm with your boundaries. Remind your colleagues and even your superiors if they’ve crossed your boundaries.
If it gets to the point where this continues to be an issue, you should speak with HR. They can help make your boundaries part of the official office policy.
Know What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed by Extroverts
Sometimes, working with a large team of extroverts can get overwhelming. For this reason, you need to come up with coping strategies that will help you get through the workday even when it all gets to be too much.
For example, you could put on some headphones and work with only your music playing, which will keep you from hearing the chatter around you.
If you’re able to, you could also step out of your office to take a much-needed break.
Put together a list of strategies you can use and employ them the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Need More Information?
Now that you’ve learned about how to thrive as an introverted employee, you might need additional information. Maybe you want to learn about where you can find jobs where you’ll thrive as an introvert. Or maybe you want tips on getting promoted.
Whatever information you need, we can help. At The Career Introvert, we’re experts when it comes to how to thriving in the workplace as an introvert.
We also offer coaching for introverts in the workplace. To learn more about this service, make an appointment now.