Career Guide

The introvertís guide to success!

Change your strategy to be successful at work

For the introvert, the working world is often perceived as loud, brash, and at times, almost unbearable.

In the corporate world where being seen and heard is the order of the day and having a go-getter personality almost guarantees success; an introvertís predisposition to being quiet, diligent and contributing without being seen seems to be the antithesis of success.

Extroverts are often asked to be more reflective, to listen more and to think through their actions. Perhaps itís also time for introverts to do more of the things that do not come naturally to them.

If youíre an introvert, here are some tips to help you step out from your comfort zone for the sake of your own personal development.

Make yourself seen

How do you deal with the dread of attending company events, especially those that require you to network and make small talk with complete strangers?

Donít throw yourself into the deep end of the pool. If you find the task too overwhelming, find one or two close colleagues and tag along with them.

Then, harness your natural desire to complete self-driven tasks by setting realistic targets, for example, to meet five new people, talk to them and collect their business cards.

That should give you focus for the event and take your mind off the fear of the crowd.

Make an effort to really get to know one or two of them. The introvertsí preference to listen rather than speak would serve well at this task, possibly even endearing you to those whom you connect with.

As much as you dislike large gatherings and small talk, it helps to remember that no man is an island, and that you need to be connected to a larger scheme of things.

Give it a chance, you might even end up enjoying the event!

Make yourself heard

Introverts need to learn to speak up more and contribute their ideas, instead of just waiting for others to do so.

It might seem uncomfortable to do so at first, but the more you practise, the better youíll get at it.

Introverts hate to be put on the spot, so it helps to be fully prepared. Maybe jot down some points about what you want to say at a meeting or discussion. The key is to go prepared.

Stand up for yourself

Remember to be proud of your strengths and achievements. Voice it out or make it known when necessary and make sure you receive the rewards and promotions for your contributions.

If you find that talking about yourself is too high a mountain to conquer, find people who can vouch for you. Get references from bosses and clients that you have worked with and use them to your benefit whenever necessary.

Relax a little

An introvert can get fixated on scheduled plans and have the tendency to stick to those plans religiously.

In a world that is constantly in flux, it is to the introvertís boon to relax a little and be flexible. Leave room in your schedule for changes and donít stress yourself out when your ďperfectĒ plans are disrupted.

Concluding thoughts

There are other little things that might make your working life a little more manageable.

It could range from helping bosses and colleagues understand what makes you tick and what your working style is, to finding quiet spots in the office where you are able to hear yourself think and get your work done without any distractions.

This year, I urge all introverts (note to self!) to be a little braver, to engage with the world around us, and surprise them with our wisdom, wittiness, originality, and creativity. Who knows, we might even enjoy the ďadventureĒ.

- Elizabeth is the Head of Client Engagement for multinational corporations at Leaderonomics. Though an introvert by nature, she embarks on adventures by driving to new places; exploring uncharted territories and looking for good food. To engage Leaderonomics for your organisationís needs, email us at

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