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Managing Your Career (and Self) An Introvert

By Andrew Parker

Does being introverted create challenges in your career plans? Are you concerned about being an
introvert in business?

Have you ever had the experience that you don’t quite fit in at work?

Does your self-talk include the phrase that “I feel like a fraud?”

Or that you are struggling to have your voice heard at work or are just simply unsure about your skills because of your quiet nature?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions that this workshop may just be the thing that you’re looking for and need.

Introverts have a unique set of skills that we are often not even aware of ourselves and don’t
consider when managing our careers.

Introverts are typically prudent in their decision making, strong and active listeners and ask insightful questions, stick at tasks until the end and are very good at building deep, one on one relationships.

It’s often perceived that Introverts cannot be successful in the world of business.

This too is incorrect as leaders come in all shapes and sizes and many of the world’s most successful companies have been lead by Introverts including Microsoft, Google, Tesla, Berkshire Hathaway, Campbell’s and even Apple to name just a few.

Fortune Magazine (2015) published an article on ‘6 truths on why Introverts make great leaders’ where they argued that:
• Introverts are prudent
• Introverts learn by listening
• Leverage their quite nature
• Demonstrate humility
• Manage uncertainty
• Introverts are comfortable working alone

If you’re still not convinced by this then you may be interested in Jim Collins 2001 work “Good to
Great: Why some companies make the leap and others don’t.”

In this research Collins and his researchers analysed the performance of over 1,400 US companies over a 40 year period to identify not just good companies, but “great” companies.

Importantly, the eleven best or “great” companies were all lead by leaders who were described as being “soft spoken”, “shy”, “quiet”, “unassuming” and “modest.”

It’s probably not too much of stretch to presume that you may have been told as a child or young
adult that being quiet, unassuming or an Introvert would hinder your future success.

As you can probably now tell (or now know), this is not only unhelpful, it is untrue.

Introverts can be successful in business and life, they just need to recognise and leverage their unique strengths in their careers and manage their energy levels as part of their own self-care and self-management.

One of the most common misconceptions about Introverts at work and in their careers is that they
don’t like to talk or they are not able to talk or present in a public environment.

Let’s face it, many of us don’t like public speaking regardless of whether we’re an Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert.
Introversion does not mean that you cannot present or speak publicly.

Many successful Introverts in business carefully manage their energy levels so that before and after public speaking engagements they take time to ensure their batteries are fully charged, they don’t fill their diary with back to back meetings and they don’t turn up to a meeting room or conference venue unprepared for their presentation.

Douglas Conant, the former CEO of Campbell’s Soup Company (Harvard Business Review. ‘Are you an Introverted boss’, 2011) contends that Introverts benefit from familiar touchstones.

“For me, a feeling of similarity with a situation helps me engage in the situation in an effective manner. I always try to be familiar with the material that I’m covering in every meeting. If I’m attending a conference or a venue surrounded by strangers, I like to visit the venue ahead of
time, and where appropriate, bring a buddy along with me.”

Douglas Conant managed his energy levels through preparation and this is one of many tips and
tricks that we will share with you during our upcoming career workshop.

In fact, we’ll share many of our experiences and practical tips and tricks that you can begin to implement straight away.

We will also work with you on how to manage imposter syndrome (which is a common feeling that many Introverts have to manage), understanding your personal and career values and whether the two are in alignment, how to manage your energy levels at work and in life, and help you identify
roles where you may be able to make the most of your Introvert superpowers.

We know that creating the right environment for you is important so we can assure you that the workshop will be led by fellow Introverts and that there are no role plays or breakout activities at all. We hope to see you this weekend.

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