Click here to read the entire Inside My Sparkly Shell Series for tips on being an introvert and rocking it.
As a recent college grad, I went through that terrifyingly overwhelming period of realizing that school was almost over and I had to make some kind of decision regarding my career. This decision would mark the beginning of my career… and the rest of my life!
Going through this period is hard for everyone but especially introverts. First, we have to find a job we like, of course. But then we have to wonder if we will fit in and if our colleagues will understand and accept our introverted personalities. The last thing we want is to get ourselves into yet another situation where we are viewed as the “weird, quiet one”. So, how do we avoid something like this?
First and foremost, make sure you are getting yourself into a field that you actually like. This will make any hard situation not seem so bad. I expect that if you are nearing your college graduation that you at least mildly enjoy whatever you are studying! That’s the whole point of college. If you don’t, then this may be the time to take a step back and do some reevaluation.
If you do like what you are studying, then use that passion to motivate you throughout your job search and beyond. Being passionate about what you do not only makes your life more tolerable but it will make being “the introverted one” not so bad.
Speaking of being “the introverted one”, take pride in that title! Remind yourself that introverts are just as strong, just as smart, and just as capable as extroverts. Our differences are what makes us special, not in need of fixing. Throughout your interview process and during your first weeks on the job, make an effort to point out those special traits. Mention how you are detail-oriented, a great listener, thoughtful, and a deep thinker.
This was something that I did at the job I have now and it has since worked in my favor. I started by dropping little “introvert” hints to my boss and colleagues. For example, in the early weeks of me working there, the conversation of zodiac signs randomly came up. I took that opportunity to mention that I am a true Virgo who is creative, observant, and reserved. My boss was able to then connect the dots to my personality and better understand me.
I also had an “introvert superhero” moment when I mentioned that a quieter candidate for our internship program should be considered just as hard as her more outgoing peers. I compared it to how I would feel if someone looked over me for a position based on the amount of words that exit my mouth rather than my passion, experience, and intelligence. It made my colleagues think again about how ridiculous their automatic favoring for the more talkative candidates looked.
Don’t be afraid to be a soldier for introverts! Speaking about our strengths rather than our weaknesses can cause a shift in thought throughout your office. Dive in and be the example that introverts can do the job just as well as anyone else.
This brings me to my last point: be good at what you do! One of my favorite quotes is, “Be so good, they can’t say no”. Practice your craft, research your industry, and constantly find ways to improve whatever it is that you do. Show this knowledge off on interviews and let yourself shine. If they care about growing their company and hiring an asset then they won’t care whether your introverted, extroverted, or otherwise.
I know it can be difficult to find confidence in being an introvert because of the constant criticism and pressure we face but this is your career we are talking about! Don’t let your introversion deter you from pursuing your dreams or cause you to fall through the cracks at your job. You are a star and you deserve to shine! Show them what you’ve got, girl ✨