How introverts win in corporate
According to a study by The Hustle, leaders and executives in the corporate world are predominantly extrovert. And with them, the advice we get on how to grow our careers.
Common career advice tells Associates to speak up, be visible and continuously go the extra mile. What this advice really does, is it has introverts feeling like they don’t belong. Like they have to pretend to be someone else in order to fit in and be successful.
More often than not, this leads to “quieter Associates” leaning back when it comes to career opportunities that bring them closer to leadership and executive positions.
#1 Myth: Introverts do not strive for leadership positions
The corporate world still thinks of a good leader as “outgoing, charismatic, loud” – someone who can share a bold vision and bring people on a journey.
And while there is no denying we need these leaders, we also need leaders who are
“quiet, intentional, strategic”.
Think of some of the most prominent founders, inventors, business leaders like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Marissa Meyer, Jeff Bezos. All introverts in executive leadership positions.
The introvert way to win in corporate
Introverts do have the potential to thrive as high-impact leaders, as long as they do it in a way that allows them to stay true to who they are and what they do best.
Here are five crucial tips for introverts to leverage their inherent power for killer career opportunities.
1 Have a clear vision of where you want to go in your career
Half the struggle we have as introverts in corporate is that we’re often overlooked for our potential and underestimated in our drive and ambition. This is why it’s all the more important for us to voice our ambitions, let people know what we’re interested in and where we’re headed.
Putting these messages out into the world means they will start doing the work for us and help position ourselves for the right opportunities as they arise. Not sure of what ambitions to put out there? Have a look at this article on how to get killer career clarity as an introvert.
2 Know your unique strengths and points of difference
Aka: Build a strong Personal Brand. Personal Branding often feels like this elaborate concept, but in its essence, it is what people know and remember about you. Your personality, your values and behaviors, what you’re good at, your motivation, your boundaries, things you enjoy doing.
In a way, a Personal Brand does the work for you when it comes to selling yourself for career opportunities. It helps position yourself for what is most aligned with you. It’s one of the most introvert-friendly ways of getting noticed and seen.
3 Build a meaningful network with intention
You don’t need to “wing” your networking conversations or be any good at small talk in order to build a meaningful network. As introverts we should allow ourselves to play to our strengths in building connections. For most of us, this means fostering 1:1 relationships, rather than attending many:many networking events and senselessly talking to strangers.
Introvert-friendly networking means being a lot more strategic and intentional with the kind of connections you build & maintain throughout your career. It’s always quality above quantity, so you don’t have to resent networking, but can truly enjoy the process.
Allow it to be easy and something you can enjoy doing. Have a look at this article for actionable tips on how to build a meaningful network.
4 Foster strong advocates who support your growth
Advocates are important stakeholders and decision makers who would mention your name in a room full of opportunities. Usually, these are people you have previously worked with and who take a genuine interest in your career growth and development.
Be sure to nurture relationships to people who have witnessed your performance and capabilities, for it is always good to update them on your career path and direction in which you are going.
5 Embrace your introversion
Whenever I start to work with a new client, the first thing we do together is get to the bottom of their personality and their inherent strengths and power. It’s not so much that they would uncover “new news” about their personality in that first session, it’s just that they had never considered some of the aspects as powerful strengths and differentiators.
That’s the moment that lights me up most as a career coach. The minute my clients realize just how powerful they are – and have always been. Embracing your introversion is not a nice to have, it’s a pivotal moment in your career. It’s where the new version of yourself sees the light of day and uncovers opportunities and possibilities they never thought possible.
Once you make who you are and what you do best your best friend, you become unstoppable.
If you’re keen to get a taste for the inherent power that lies within you, start by taking our quiz to uncover your introvert super power.
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Hi there, I'm Hannah!
I’m an ambitious introvert, Brand Marketer and Career Coach who turned her quiet power into an introvert-friendly online business. I balance my busy work day with yoga, loads of coffee and long dog walks. My mission is to help fellow introverts uncover their inherent power and claim the spots they deserve.