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Introverts are often mistaken as being timid or afraid because they prefer to be alone or in small groups, says Lisa Petrilli, author of “The Introverts Guide To Success in Business and Leadership.”They generally do well at tasks that involve brainstorming and get their energy from their “inner world” of thoughts, ideas, reflections and even memories.
Even though the most outgoing people often get more recognition in the workplace, people who are introverted can level these unique strengths to get ahead in their careers.
'The people who have the most impact aren't the ones who are promoting themselves. They're the ones that other people are promoting,' writes Nancy Ancowitz, author of Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead .
Introverts don't generally like the spotlight but if you do amazing work, others will sit up and take notice even if you are on the quieter side. Build a reputation on the results you achieve.
'Most introverts I've worked with who have gotten promotions have had a boss or senior manager who really pulled for them. Use your ability to build strong, lasting relationships and do so with people who can make a difference in your career advancement,' says Ancowitz.
Just because you're not shamelessly bragging about your accomplishments, doesn't mean you shouldn't take credit for the work you do.
If you want your boss to notice what you're doing, resist the urge to disperse credit to 'the team' all the time, and find a way to identify and strategically mention your individual contribution when it's appropriate, says Ancowitz.
The more people you know, the more opportunities you'll have access to. But networking events usually feature large crowds, which can make introverts uncomfortable.
Introverts can make networking easier by having conversations with one person at a time rather than trying to make small talk with a group of people, writes Lisa Petrilli for the Harvard Business Review. Breaking down the room into manageable chunks will help make events more successful and connections more meaningful.
Contacting a person you want to connect with ahead of time on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter can make introductions easier, says Petrilli.
Reaching out online instead of face-to-face or on the phone gives you more time to craft your message and takes the immediate pressure off.
When introverts are in leadership positions, they can use their affinity for listening well to connect with more outspoken people at work.
'Introverted leaders are more likely than their extroverted counterparts to listen to, and process, the ideas of an eager, vocal team,' writes author Jennifer B. Kahnweiler at BusinessWeek.
Introverts are good at tasks that involve intense focus and analysis.
Offer to work on projects like an annual report, company newsletter or managing a database. These don't have to be mindless, you can make the tasks your own.
'If the project calls for depth and patience, it's probably a good fit for you -- and you'll be viewed as a hero if you're willing to take it on when nobody else is,' says Peter Vogt, Monster's senior contributing writer.
Doing your research and being well-prepared can help you feel more focused and confident about that big presentation or meeting you're dreading.
When you know what you're talking about, you'll feel more prepared for whatever comes your way and your coworkers will recognise your hard work.
Constant meetings and conversations can leave introverted people feeling stressed and overwhelmed, says Vogt.
Make time for yourself by taking short breaks throughout the day to relax and clear your mind. Step outside for a solitary lunch or run an errand.
If you're looking for a promotion or just recognition, you should think about what you offer to the company and be ready to present in concrete terms what you've achieved so far, says Ancowitz.
This will not only help you be more prepared, but you'll have a better chance at convincing your boss that you're a valuable part of the organisation.
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