Photo by: Lydia Marroquin
Introverts and extroverts are the black and white of the corporate world. Unfortunately, American society assumes that for one to be successful and dominate in one’s career, one has to be a talkative, energetic, and outgoing extrovert. This is not to say that introverts aren’t any of those things, however, it may seem like a boxing match in a setting where performance is constantly critiqued and compared. So how can Introvert Ian make it known that they are just as worthy for that raise or that office with the great lighting as Extrovert Emily without feeling burned out?
To start off, take a look at these qualities to see if you fit into the class of introversion:
Need quiet time to concentrate; reflect on tasks that they’ve executed; take time making decisions; prefer to write rather than talk; use their imaginations to solve problems; feel comfortable being alone.
Is that you? Do you feel drained after a staff meeting or overwhelmed with group projects? According to The New York Times article, “An Introvert’s Guide to Surviving on the Job”, Morra Aarons-Mele says that knowing your boundaries and setting your limits is key. “One of the most effective ways of doing this that I’ve found is what I call ‘Pace, Place, Space’” Mele states while being an introvert themself.
Need quiet time to reset? Aarons-Mele says that adjusting your pace may make all of the difference!
“Think strategically about your schedule and how you can make it work for you.”
If you are the type of person that needs breaks, they encourage you to place those into your work schedule. How? You can do this by creating your own personal schedule or adding them to your work’s Google Calendar to keep your coworkers aware of your “me-time”.
If you work better alone, consider rethinking your workspace. Privacy is important but you don’t want to seem stand-offish. This can be implemented even in a place that encourages coworking. Having a desk to call your own sets a nonverbal boundary between you and your coworker; it allows you to focus on your individual tasks but still offers enough range where questions and ideas can still be shared.
Have you clocked out, but not really clocked out? Still being bombarded with messages and emails from your partners and employees?
"Others find off-hours communication and expectation of instant responsiveness extremely jarring.”
To reduce this overlap between work and downtime, Aarons-Mele suggests limiting your co-workers' accessibility to you after hours. This can happen by verbally letting your job know that any updates can be left on your desk and that you’ll check them in the morning or by simply turning off your email notifications. It may seem like you are putting off important tasks that you could be doing now, but you’re giving yourself the personal space you need to decompress and be the best employee you can be as you climb that corporate ladder.