The modern workplace is always a smorgasbord of personalities.
In any given office, there are those quirky, outgoing, and exuberant employees, while on the other side of the spectrum are people who prefer going about their day in a low-key fashion, peacefully but very expertly accomplishing tasks. The latter is what people will often profile as introverts.
It’s a sad truth that these individuals are often stereotyped as lonesome and aloof, but these misconstructions cannot be farther away from the truth. This article will change your understanding of introverts and prove that just like everyone else, introverted members of the workforce can be the most insightful, valuable assets of any given company.
Here are seven reasons to absolutely love being an introvert at work.
Being quiet is a good thing
It’s true! Introverts will always be inclined to slink away from crowds in order to cultivate a quiet, and often isolated work environment for themselves. After all, it’s this kind of setting that makes them feel most comfortable and safe.
Let’s just get one thing straight: this affinity for quiet, uncrowded spaces doesn’t mean that your introverted workmates are lonely, sad, morose or cold. The quiet is simply a reflection of active thoughtfulness. Introverts in the workplace are great assets because of this fact.
What others perceive as lonely, you can always interpret and use to your advantage as zen. Granted the peaceful atmosphere that they crave and often actively seek out, introverts can be the most thoughtful employees.
Without the clutter of noise and large crowds, they are able to think very clearly about the issues and tasks at hand. The process of problem-solving is always pursued with keen insight. These quiet spaces that onlookers regard as “loner” or “emo” atmospheres, are in fact conducive for an introvert to come up with the most innovative ideas that solve workplace dilemmas and propel any company creatively forward.
Your independence is your advantage
As an introverted individual, one of your best qualities is that you are independently driven. While generally, corporate culture can help in career growth, you have quite a bit of an edge in that, you can generate your own source of motivation even without the external pressures of the usual corporate rat race.
This is a great plus for companies that operate with very little supervision for their staff. You’re practically a boss’ dream! Pursuing individually generated motivation is the first step to dispelling misconceptions about introverts in the workforce.
You’re not just a silent, reserved individual, you are also a passionate worker who gets the job done.
Remember that your voice is valuable as well
The fact that an introvert prefers to be quiet doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t have a voice. As was already mentioned, silence is fuel for introverts processing thoughts. A bounty of ideas can be born out of these quiet sessions and it’s always just a matter of finding an avenue to share them.
If you are one of these introverted employees, silently working on your next revolutionary idea in that cubicle, don’t be afraid to speak up! That voice of yours, and the ideas that you’ve honed to furnish it, are valuable contributions to whichever company or institution you’re working for.
The key is to pick safe, well-mediated opportunities to raise your voice so that you don’t feel too overwhelmed or too far out of your comfort zone. Volunteer opinions at a meeting. Choose short, face-to-face gatherings with your work team instead of conducting discussions via e-mail threads. Simple steps like these will ease you out of your comfort zone and help you engage in effective communication regarding those prized ideas.
You deserve a bigger audience than your discreet cubicle.
You’re the yin to someone’s yang
As an introvert, you might find it easier to work with fellow introverts at the office. You might also be surprised at how well you can work with your more extroverted officemates. Remember: there’s a logic behind opposites attracting.
Contrary to popular belief, introverts and extroverts can actually develop a great work dynamic by playing off each other’s strengths. The thoughtful, idea-driven introvert can serve as the brains of the operation. And their extroverted partner-in-crime can serve as the face and spokesperson for the team.
While more introverted employees can help extroverts with the process of problem-solving and ironing ideas out, extroverts can coax introverts out of their quiet shells to communicate more confidently. Together, introverts and extroverts make dream teams!
Remember that a little bit of mingling never hurt anybody
Introverted icon Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “It’s a good rule of thumb to do something that scares you every day.”
Mingling with co-workers isn’t always the first preference of an introverted person. It’s understandable that it’s hard for you to leave the safety net of your cubicle during lunch breaks and downtime. Just remember that mingling is only the first step towards building meaningful relationships with your workmates and ensuring that you can develop functional connections.
You may find it difficult, or even daunting to start conversations. But your character-defining thoughtfulness ensures that the relationships pursued are never just artificial. They are well-founded and fruitful instead.
Get out there and mingle with your peers a little bit. Start a beautiful friendship on the next coffee break.
Don’t be afraid of taking leadership positions
Whoever said introverts don’t make great leaders? Throughout history, many introverted individuals have assumed coveted, well-known leadership positions and have been very successful in their stints.
Barack Obama himself is a great example of an efficient and well-loved leader with the personality profile of an introvert. Many regarded his affinity for thoughtful discernment as his best and most defining quality.
What greater proof do you need? Introverts can be just as memorable, charismatic, and inspiring as their more outgoing peers. Take a chance on the next leadership position that opens up in your office. Prove that introverts can be excellent trailblazers as well.
If you’re still doubting yourself, just check out this introvert’s guide on being a leader and see for yourself. Who knows? This may be your stepping stone to becoming the president of your company if not an entire country.
Let your introvert flag fly!
At the end of the day, only YOU can truly define what an introvert is and how an introvert functions. Don’t let misconceptions bog you down or prevent you from making significant work relationships and friendships with your peers.
By sticking to your gut, trusting your thoughtful problem-solving processes, and raising your voice in order to get your ideas out there, you can prove for your sake, and the sake of all the quiet introverts of the workforce, that introverts CAN succeed in the workplace.
There are endless possibilities in terms of careers for introverts, so let that introvert flag fly! Your company will be so much better for it.