An open office can be an overwhelming nightmare for any introvert who may come across cold. Below is an introvert’s guide to thriving in the workplace.
Being an introvert is a common trait that many people have. There isn’t anything wrong with being quite, shy and ‘staying invisible’, which seems to be problematic in the extroverted culture which most companies seem to expect of their employees. Being introverted is a great trait to possess; in fact, most global prominent people, such as Barak Obama, Mark Zuckerberg and Emma Watson are said to be introverts. Many introverts often prefer to and usually thrive working alone or in small groups since they value privacy and don’t just openly share anything about themselves or those close to them. I have mentioned a few weeks ago about my close friend who is one a big introvert and admits to enjoying her company and excelling at her work when she on she is on her own. But she is also a great company to have as she is a great listener and likes engaging in meaningful conversations. Not to mention her wicked sense of humour that makes me think of her when I feel down. I think these are some of the qualities that contributed to her climbing up to a managerial position at her place of work. She mentions that over the years she didn’t enjoy the fact that the industry she is passionate about requires a lot of interaction. She mentions that she was fortunate to work in a big company that allowed her to be flexible in working anywhere either than the office, from the café, the boardroom to outside. This is how she says she was able to survive and even thrive in her workplace:
Be flexible where you work: Try to negotiate working in different places within the office, especially if you are able to take your work outside your office. Every once in a while make a nearby coffee shop or a boardroom your office, especially if you work well in a quiet place that has little or no distractions.
Don’t make your work go unnoticed: If you are an introvert, you probably possess great qualities that can help advance your career, from paying attention to detail to your ability to work well with little or not supervision. But this can be disadvantageous if you let your hard work go unnoticed. Make frequent meetings with your managers and highlight your achievements, as well as your ideas on how to take the company forward.
Make the effort: Yes, you may be the quiet one but staring at your screen with earphones planted in your ears the whole day doesn’t give off a good impression. Make the effort to engage in topical issues your colleagues are discussing, challenge yourself to work in team projects and attend office social events. This will help you get to know the professional and personality traits of your co-workers, as well as helping you establish an affable working relationship with them.
Be an early bird: Having an hour to yourself at work can help you ease into the rest of the day. Use this quiet time to your advantage as you can get most of your work done. Embrace your personality and be true to yourself, but there is no harm in being kinder and approachable to people around you.
Are you an introvert? How are you thriving at work?