There’s a lot to think about when preparing for your job search. You need to make sure your resume is right, practice your interview etiquette, and practice networking to get you a leg up. But what about taking your personality into account? Your personality plays a big part in how you go about your job search, and a big part of your personality is defined by if you’re an introvert.
This is an important consideration. Being an introvert plays a role in how you communicate and how comfortable you are around people, especially if that person is a hiring manager who you’re trying to impress. So it’s worth taking some time understanding what it means to be an introvert and how it impacts your job search.
What is an introvert?
There are different degrees to being an introvert, but generally speaking, an introvert is someone who is more comfortable with internal forces of stimulation rather than external forces. More simply, introverts aren’t energized by being around people. They feel much more at home with their own thoughts and feelings, away from the crowds or gatherings.
That said, introverts aren’t allergic to people. They don’t suddenly go mute if they find themselves in conversations. Being an introvert is just your biological preference to not be someone who demands attention or wants to be the life of the party. Your introversion means you’re OK with being alone, but you also have opinions and aren’t afraid to share them if the opportunity presents itself. Again, there are different degrees of being an introvert. You need to know where you fall on the scale so you can utilize it to your advantage when searching for a job.
Understanding the personality traits of an introvert
It’s good to break this down because sometimes it’s hard to self-analyze yourself. There are several types of introverted extroverted quizzes you can take that will help you better understand your personality. There’s also a popular book called, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking that’s worth checking out.
Generally speaking, extroverts are far more comfortable in social situations and don’t mind being in the spotlight. Introverts are more introspective and cautious with who they let into their space.
Learn more about finding a job as an extrovert.
Let’s dive deeper into some personality traits that typically characterize introverts:
You rather spend time by yourself
This is probably the biggest sign that you’re an introvert. While you don’t mind engaging with people, your real joy is being left alone to your own thoughts. That’s what gives you energy; that’s what makes you feel the most comfortable. You get to go about your day however you choose and without interruption. If you are the only company you need, you’re probably an introvert.
You have a small group of friends
It’s not like introverts don’t like making friends. It’s just that they don’t need as many of them around. They’re perfectly fine with a couple of friends who are consistently part of their lives. It lessens the obligation of having to be social and gives introverts more control over their own space. Introverts love just as hard as extroverts, so know that you’ll be getting a loyal friend.
Zoning out is a normal part of life
By nature, introverts tend to be more introspective and prone to what some would call zoning out. It just means that you can get lost in your own thoughts even if you’re around groups of people. Some might think it’s rude and accuse introverts of being standoffish, but it’s just who they are and how they function.
How introverts can use their strengths in a job search
Just because you’re an introvert doesn’t mean you’re less likely to nail that interview and do well in your dream job. Here are some benefits to being an introvert and how you can utilize your strengths when looking for a job:
Even though introverts don’t always say much, they really know how to think things through. This is a great asset when you’re in an interview. When you’re asked a question, take the opportunity to give a thoughtful response that touches on perspectives that most people wouldn’t consider.
You learn by observing
You may not feel comfortable asking a million questions, but you’re great at watching someone do something and then applying that knowledge. Part of securing a job is amping up your skill set. You’re at an advantage because you can do that without having to involve anyone else but yourself. If you know a job requires a certain skill, take your time in solitude and get better.
You can work well independently
Yes, most jobs require that you work at least some time in a team environment. But where you really shine as an introvert is on your own. You’re a great independent worker and can get assignments done with very little managing. You just need to be told what to do, given a deadline, and you’ll deliver. This is one of your superpowers. Make sure you let it be known when you’re being interviewed.
Tips for networking as an introvert
We know that even reading the word networking is probably causing some anxiety. But wait, there are ways to network as an introvert that isn’t as overwhelming. Try this out:
Preparation is key
What’s difficult about being an introvert is being put on the spot. You find yourself in a room full of people you know you should be talking to but don’t know what to say. This is where preparation comes in. Write down and practice a few questions. Keep them general enough so they’re conversation starters that can break the ice and make you feel a bit more comfortable. Then have your main questions prepared. The ones that will help you achieve whatever your goal is when building your network.
Take a different approach
There’s no rule book that says networking has to be done in a crowded room or large online groups. Why not take a different approach and find ways to network that are more comfortable for you. That can involve identifying specifically who you want to connect with and setting up virtual coffees with those individuals. Now you get to use your strengths, as we mentioned above and really stand out.
Just be yourself
To be honest, this is probably the best way to approach networking. Your goal isn’t to change who you are. What you’re trying to do is get someone in your corner who can help advance your career. It’s a task that needs to be done, and once that task is over, you can go back to the solitude of your own mind. But while you’re trying to engage and build your network, you want people to know the real you, so be the real you and don’t worry about playing a role to fit in.
Best jobs for introverts
Introverts tend to veer to jobs that allow for a high level of independence. They much rather have low supervision and not be required to be vocal in meetings. Time to work alone is key for introverts who need that space to focus and produce the best output possible. While introverts are still quite capable of being effective leaders and speaking up when they need to, there are some jobs that are more suited to the general personality of an introvert.
- Content Manager
- Software Developer
- Technical Writer
- Research Scientist
Let Prepped help you be your best self
Being an introvert is really a beautiful thing. Just because the world is loud doesn’t mean you should feel any pressure to join in the noise. Always show up as yourself, and when it’s time to get that job, use your powers as an introvert to show off what you can do. That’s where Prepped can help. We can make sure you’re prepared for your job search, so you’re showing up as your very best.
Sign up for Prepped and get access to free resume templates created by HR pros along with the training and tools you need to succeed in your job search.
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