If you find yourself in the predicament of being segregated into the group of people that aren’t taken seriously, here are a few steps that you can take to elevate yourself to the group that is.
- Think about when and how you do your best work. What are some things you have accomplished that you’re proud of? Write them down as examples, including what the work environment was like. The goal is showing a past history of doing great work even though labeled “quiet” or “a loner.”
- Reflect on why you do your best work when you operate as you truly are and describe what makes that your sweet spot. Comparing and contrasting with extroverts and how they operate is a good exercise to show the difference when helping others to understand you.
- Consider what you are getting in the current work environment and list out what’s working and what’s not and why. Mull over what suggested changes you might need, making sure they won’t be seen as outrageous demands. Keep in mind that some of these things could be changed, but don’t expect all of them to be.
- Put together a plan and think of it as a business plan for you.
- Share your plan with your mentor, co-workers, friends, and/or family members before going to your manager to get feedback and to help you prepare your presentation.
- Share the plan with your manager. Don’t expect to get through it all in one meeting. This is something that needs attention over a long period of time and should be looked upon as a partnership. Make sure the meetings are outside of regular one-on-ones so the topic is only on your plan.
- Be sure you have an ongoing mentor relationship with another introvert that has found success operating as such to help guide you. While your manager can help with this, it’s best to have someone that can play the part of an unbiased third party.
In part three of this article, we’ll explore tips for management on helping introverted employees be successful.