Many of us are familiar with descriptions often associated with the term ‘introvert’ – the quiet, reserved ones often found at work within the safety of their cubicles around the office. According to Susan Cain, the author of the New York Times bestseller Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking, a third of half of the workforce in the world is introverted!
Introversion does not mean that a person is anti-social or shy. It is all about how a person recharges and directs their attention. Introverts feel energized in low-key environments or solitude while their extroverted counterparts recharge by indulging in social activities with people. The point to remember is this – neither one personality trait is better than the other.
Although workplaces have always been designed to recognise extroverts, introverts are now becoming invaluable assets at the workplace. In fact, according to Cain, some of the world’s greatest leaders and entrepreneurs such as Barack Obama and Bill Gates are introverts.
Here are some basic job hunting tips for introverts.
1. Seek jobs suitable to your strength and skills
Introverts are generally most productive working independently. However, this doesn’t mean that they can never collaborate with others. Job specifications such as ‘keen eye for detail’, ‘team player’ and even ‘ability to work under minimal supervision’ are ideal jobs for introverts.
Truth be told, ‘any environment which consistently leaves you feeling bad about who you are is the wrong environment (Laurie A. Helgoe, author of Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength). Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, it is crucial to be in a work environment with job responsibilities that suits your personality to simply avoid being miserable.
2. Survey job reviews/listings and the company description
Reviews online about a company and the company description may reveal a lot to the benefit of introverts. According to thebalancecareers.com, if a company description includes statements of employees as ‘working hard and playing hard’, introverts may need to take note as they prefer solitude to large social gatherings.
3. Highlight your soft skills in the cover letter
A cover letter should include your qualifications and accomplishments. As an introvert, you could also include your soft skills and personality traits which are crucial for the job at hand. Introverts are known for their attention to detail, focus and ability to work under minimal supervision, so give examples of how your strengths have benefited a particular project or former employers.
4. Preparing for job interviews
Being a good listener is an intrinsic trait of introverts which can be utilised in their favour during an interview. This way, such candidates can tailor their answers based on the needs of the prospective employer. In turn, the candidate may also sufficiently be prepared in advance with questions for the employer to assess if the work environment is suited for them.
Happy job hunting!