The concept of working in a full-time job (yes, at an office) can be frightening for introverts. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of benefits in having a day job. Nonetheless, a 9-5 job can mean a whole day of interaction with co-workers and clients which is mentally and physically draining for introverts. The good news, though, is that introverts are more than capable to achieve career success. Take it from these successful introvert leaders throughout history.
You are an introvert, so what? That does not mean you have to blend in the background and take orders from others. Think of being in a workplace as being on a battlefield. With that said, it’s a good thing we have provided you a survival guide on how to survive your day job (as an introvert).
Being comfortable is a crucial requirement for introverts to function effectively. By arriving early at work, you will be more comfortable to start conversations as opposed to arriving late wherein you will already be welcomed with bustling noises and chatters which will make you overwhelmed and a tad intimidated. Striking conversations will not be as challenging because there will be no groups of co-workers chatting already.
By arriving early, you are already preparing yourself with the mindset that today is another work day and you are expected to interact and maybe do things that are challenging. You will be expecting people coming from that door and you will smile at them. Being surprised is an introvert’s last wish.
One co-worker at a time
Being an introvert does not mean you do not want friends. It is quite the opposite, actually. However, you do not need to force yourself to be close with everyone or you will just overwhelm yourself. You do need to at least talk to them on your first few days and introduce yourself, though. But those are really just a series of small talks. Fortunately after that, you can go make friends at your own pace. Do not try hard because people will notice that — and it is not a good look. Be genuine to yourself and to others. Hey, why not try making friends with that fellow introvert for starters?
It is okay to work alone
Of course, this is the instance that you are not assigned by your boss or superior to do a team project. But on a normal day, do not feel bad if you just want to plug your earphones in and do your work. Again, you do not need to pressure yourself into talking with your co-workers if it will just drain you mentally. I mean, if you know you will not be able to work effectively with people around you, why put yourself to that, right?
If you have a nice (and big) workplace, why not find your happy place? Your happy place in the office can either be at a random sofa, in the corner of the office, or even in the kitchen (this is based on experience, folks). Either way, you will always find your safe space wherein you can relax and let your creativity flow.
Do what you are best at — observe. Think of this as a survival contest or a battleground and you have your secret weapon with you. If you want to survive, you will just not attack blindly. You will have to observe your surroundings to know what your next and appropriate moves will be. Being an introvert means you get to see what people do not usually see, and that in itself is a HUGE advantage at the workplace. You will get to know what makes other people tick. You will be able to avoid doing the things your boss hates and you will be able to do what pleases them.
Look and be confident
Let’s make a new motto, shall we? Fake it til you are it. Most introverts are not aware of their skills and impact because they are either too scared or too harsh on themselves. Stop questioning yourself. If you even have an inkling that you can do it, then go do it. If you fail, try harder. If you succeed, then that is a lesson that you should trust yourself more.
Try to put yourself out there and go out of your box even for a short while. Try to forget that you are shy. Try to forget that you are too soft spoken. Try to forget that you can’t. Trust me, time will come wherein you will not need to try anymore.
Being an introvert in an extrovert world is daunting. However, that does not mean that introverts cannot achieve success in the workplace and in life. Just keep on channeling and harnessing your skills, and you will see great results.
Remember that it is more important to stay true to yourself and be who you are.