Career Paths for Introverts: Landing a Job by Being Yourself

Written by Allison Crochet

Graphic Design by Marcus Bounds, Jr.

Career Job-Seeker Online

Phone calls. Small talk. Speaking out in meetings. Oftentimes, introverts dread what many extrovert employees find energizing. And it doesn’t stop in the workplace. Rehearsing ice cream orders in your head. Making a beeline to the self-checkout at the grocery store. Hiding under a window whenever the doorbell rings. The world can be an exhausting place for those of us who aren’t always eager to socialize. It’s not that introverts dislike people. In fact, many introverts are kind, caring, ultra-considerate individuals. But introverts sometimes need an added push when it comes to social interaction. And even the best of us can let our anxiety impede our progress, especially in pursuing a career path. Here are some tips to help you overcome introvert obstacles and Change Your Future:

Go Talk to Yourself

Studies have shown that talking to yourself is healthy. And why wouldn’t it be? You have interesting things to say! Truth be told, you likely have some brilliant insight into why you are the perfect fit for the job. Sure, you look good on paper. But now it’s up to you to show that you have the confidence and communication skills of the ideal candidate.

So how can you sharpen your speech and avoid stumbling over your answers when the big day finally comes? Avoid preparing for job interviews silently in your head. Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye, and verbally rehearse. Yes, recite your answers out loud wherever you can: in your bathroom, in your closet. Sitting poised at your boudoir. Standing at the decorative mirror in your living room (it will be thrilled it’s finally getting some use!) To stare at yourself while you speak might be uncomfortable at first. But as you continue to practice, it will boost your self-esteem.

Rehearsing your interview answers out loud familiarizes you with your responses. Think of yourself as a stage actor memorizing their lines. It helps you perfect your tone and delivery. By showing that you can communicate in a clear, courteous manner, you are sure to ace that interview. Chances are, you will also build a good rapport with your future team members.

Network, Network, Network

Introverts are at an advantage in the digital age. Gone are the days when the only way to meet people in the industry was to send a telegraph to a potential employer. Or a smoke signal. Or a carrier pigeon. If you were desperate, you might even attend a networking event in person (yikes!) But in the era of the internet, billions of professionals in your desired career field are accessible with the click of a button. Social media sites such as LinkedIn are invaluable for growing your network. They can connect you virtually with others, but only if used to their full capacity.

On LinkedIn, maintaining 500+ connections makes your profile more visible to recruiters. Reaching out to as many people as possible in your desired field is crucial. Invite them to be a part of your network. Luckily for us introverts, this step only involves clicking the “Connect” button on someone’s LinkedIn profile. You can even have a pre-written outreach message explaining why you’d like them to join your network. Remember— the person with whom you seek to connect will likely only know you by your credentials. Introverts tend to internalize rejection and take it personally. But on LinkedIn, the worst a potential connection can do is “ignore” your request.

So, don’t be shy! Get out there and virtually network with as many people as possible. You might even be surprised how many (former) strangers will delight in making a new friend.

Eyes on the Prize

The familiar phrase “first impressions mean a lot” can be anxiety-inducing for introverts. But while it does hold some water in the job world, it isn’t everything. Understand that your potential employers are people, too. They will know you are likely nervous going into the interview. And they will take this into consideration. Do try to remain poised, professional, and polite, and speak in a confident, practiced tone. But first and foremost: convey to the recruiter that you are there to work for their company.

Prove your interest and enthusiasm for your potential role. Convey that you are a cooperative team player. That you will go above and beyond to help the company realize its goals. You can even research the job beforehand to identify tasks at which you know you will succeed. Mention these tasks during your interview and how you plan to achieve them. Show the interviewer that you are willing to commit and thrive in your new role.

Pursue a Virtual Internship

The future is now. Or rather, we were sort of thrust into it in March 2020. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work in the United States has increased four-fold. Suddenly, we’re in the era of weird Zoom backgrounds and embarrassing mic mishaps. Of cats interrupting calls and the faint background noise of Jeopardy playing on TV. The shift to a virtual workplace has brought with it some challenges. But a great deal of previously unavailable opportunities have now come to light.

One huge advantage of our (re)connected age is the ability to work remotely from anywhere in the world. Now career-seekers can enjoy full-time employment from the comfort of their living room. And for the introvert, this set-up is nothing short of ideal. 

Virtual spaces are “safe” for introverts, observes professional career coach Beth Buelow. Especially for those who are just learning the ropes of the professional world. In her blog post “The Perfect Job for Any Introvert,” Buelow shares some wisdom about searching for your purpose-filled career: “It’s not about a specific occupation or industry. It’s about finding that sweet spot where your interests and talents can be regularly utilized in an energizing– not energy draining–environment.”  Limited distractions and minimal social pressure create a space in which the introvert thrives. Virtual environments allow introverts privacy and focus. They offer support and a perfect “taste test” of what it’s like to hold a job. You don’t even have to commute to an office! Virtual internships are unique because of their accessibility, and introverts can gain valuable professional experience without the intimidation of having to blend in with workplace culture.

Embrace Your Introversion!

Again— you have the power to leverage your potential in the job world. We are who we are. So why would your introversion be an obstacle? Embrace it! Introversion is a strength and an asset for many professionals. We are observers– great note-takers and listeners. We’re also authentic in our desire to help those around us happily succeed.

Because many introverts so often keep to themselves, we develop a rich inner life brimming with potential. We just need to find a way to leverage it in the job world. Once an introvert is able to unleash this full potential, they will have countless opportunities available to them.

Never underestimate the innate talents of the introvert. Once we find our niche, we can flourish beyond expectation and help our company soar. Our power lies in our ability to step back and propose thoughtful insights and solutions. We might not be the most outspoken in meetings. But we’re essential to the company’s inner machinations. For more ways to leverage your skills and talents in the workplace, visit our blog!

Have a Super Day!

Allison Crochet

After earning an English degree during my undergraduate career, I knew my aptitude for writing was a marketable skill, especially in the information age. As a content writer at Super Purposes, I aim to produce blog articles that not only inform readers, but also motivate them to take the necessary steps in pursuing their career calling.