Not very often that you luckily find a job that matches your personality. Sometimes you fall in a job that is totally a contrast to your personality.
But before you try to escape, I think at first you can take this opportunity to learn interesting things in order to develop yourself, or maybe you learn some new skills.
I was born an introvert. I used to be considered the most introverted child among those introverts. I remember when I was in elementary school. In our class, there were two most reticent kids, including me.
After the next semester, one of these two kids gradually changed and became more active. Finally, there remained only one quiet in class, that was me!
During the school years, I was always the same character. And I thought that I had serious personal problem or unstable personality, or lost the ability to communicate normally with people. I used to believe in such way for a long time.
After my graduation, my first career choice was an event management job to help myself improve the ability to converse with people. My goal was to be able to communicate like extroverts.
But things are not as easy as I thought. I cannot be an extrovert or at least pretending to be like that. In fact, the only consolation that I discovered was that many people were suffering like me. They also faced a similar situation.
I thought, "If this is the problem of many people. Oh sorry! A LOT of people, then surely someone must have studied about it." Consequently, I discovered hundreds of books, articles, videos about the subject and I learned from them.
And the good news is... Yes! this is exactly what I expected to hear:
"There's nothing wrong about the fact that you were born an introvert. There is really nothing wrong about it. Just because you have a different personality trait."
What a relief!
And each character has their own strengths.
I wondered, "What? Does that mean I have certain personal competitive advantages?"
"If yes, what are those advantages?" I wondered and started to discover things that were not taught in schools and in extroverted world. I finally found there are introverted strengths in strategic thinking and decision making. Introverts can unlock ideas and strategies that nobody else could have.
Even with some studies also pointed out, the introverted leaders occasionally deliver better results.
This helped me change my belief. I started to have a positive attitude about myself. That was an important first step.
From my personal experience working with different people from 3 to 60 years old, I have been summarized the principles below for you, an introvert, that can help you become more successful and more influence in an extrovert world.
#1. STOP thinking guilty thoughts about yourself right now.
Stop self-doubting thoughts like "Why am I an introvert?" "What's wrong with me?" "I find it hard to start my voice in place of many people." Or "People will see me as a passive being, who has trouble speaking in groups."
If you think you have a problem, that thinking must be the problem!
#2. Instead of trying to figure out what to say to people, you can focus on asking meaningful questions.
Because if you have nothing to say, instead of trying to hurry yourself along with some sayings, why not turn to ask for other people's opinion and you practice active listening skill!
If you are an introvert, you are also a thinker. So treasure and use your ability - the ability to think creatively. Remember one saying from Zig Ziglar,
"You are the only person on earth who can use your ability."
Usually, people will recommend you take less time of thinking and instead express your ideas. But I recommend the opposite, you do not need to say anything. Sometimes you're better off saying nothing at all. Just go ahead with your thinking. Keep thinking until you find some unique ideas. Then make a statement and everyone will listen to you.
But wait! Instead, ask some thought provoking questions in a different approach. Imagine that. In a discussion, when people are discussing enthusiastically about their ideas. Then suddenly you come up with a profound question, people may go into silence immediately to think, even work together to brainstorm ideas for your question.
By that way, you make an influence on the group discussion.
Because you are an introvert, you have the ability to observe. Therefore, you can master questioning skill.
So, there are three steps:
- Observe carefully
- Ask curiously
- Listen actively
#3. Take time to prepare for some social situations like events, workplaces, conferences, ...
Maybe you think this is very basic, no need to talk about that.
Yes, that's true. But most people do not prepare properly and adequately!
Suppose you prepare for an event. In addition to your clothes, hair, business cards, ... I have this question for you (a question again!), "Have you ever wondered who has the ideas for the event?"
After "investigating" who is behind-the-scene. You can approach toward that person and say (make sure that you know his/her name), "I love your idea of the event! How can you develop such an amazing idea?"
I'm sure he/she will like your question.
And this is your COMMUNICATION STRATEGY:
If you can not talk to many people, you only need to talk to someone. If you just can talk to someone, you should spend your time talking with the decision maker.
(Of course, not always be that serious, as long as you feel good talking with them and you feel respected in their presence!)
Also, never forget to prepare in advance. As an introvert, don't let yourself take risk without preparation.
I hope that will help you. I'd love to hear your experiences if you are an introvert and doing job that requires extroverted skills. Please put some comments below. Thanks in advance.