As an introvert, sometimes, it can be hard to let other people know the things that we’re capable of. Not because we’re not confident of what we can do, but because it can be pretty awkward for us to do so. And when you’re in the workplace, you are required to showcase your abilities and make yourself useful not only for your boss but also for your colleagues. But how do you do this? How can you let other people know your strengths?
Hello, and welcome to The Traveling Introvert. Today I am going to talk about showcasing your strengths. As an introvert, I'm going to talk about me, I definitely have found it difficult to showcase my strengths whatever they may be in various work situations, and I've talked to a lot of people. I'm in HR. I've seen a lot of interviews. I've talked to a lot of managers, and so there are a few things that you can do as a human, never mind as an introvert, to help showcase your strengths but in a way that doesn't feel icky and salesy. I think that's something that's really important because as an introvert I know that I made the mistake of assuming that my boss knew exactly what I was doing. I was there. I was doing my job. Everything was running smoothly. There was no complaints. Obviously, my boss knows what I'm doing.
Actually, not the case. So, I want to talk about a few strategies that can help you move forward in your career without feeling sticky and icky and all the rest of it about what you're doing. One thing you should definitely do is find a comfortable way to showcase what you can do while helping other people. Interesting tip if you're good listeners and then take time to process and reflect on information. We're excellent on focusing on the task at hand, and so it's better for us to showcase our skills in a way that makes ourselves feel like we're just helping somebody, and so we feel at ease and are confident in what we're doing.
A good example is, I don't know if you're a wizard at Excel because I hate Excel, so I love people who love Excel, you could volunteer to help next time someone is struggling with their spreadsheets. One-on-one, we're not talking about doing a training, or email a list of handy shortcuts to your team, or maybe you just need to ensure that you're communicating your wins in a good way. The other thing that you can do is volunteer outside of work, this doesn't even have to be a work thing, in a way that can help your portfolio and increase your skills and at the same time helping other people, so, just think about the things that you can do in that way.
Now, one thing I said is that my boss never knew what I was doing. I thought they knew, but let's be honest. They're not being necessarily copied in on all your emails. They are in charge of a lot of other people. So, what you need to do is find out exactly how your boss likes to communicate, what they expect from you, and then make sure you communicate in that way, so if they want a report every Friday by email, great, if they want a meeting, great. Do what you need to do, but also it's good for you because you may then start making a journal on every Friday what you've accomplished, what you didn't accomplish, what you want to accomplish in the next week. These are things that are really important in the long run because at the end of the year when you have your performance review and you're looking like, “Oh, man I don't know what I did,” but if you have a journal then you'll know.
Another thing that you can do especially if you don't like being put on the spot is to get allies or do your thinking in advance. What I found is great is if you know you have a meeting coming up and you know that there is an agenda and you know what's going to be talked about think about what you might want to say in advance and then go and talk to somebody else in the office about it and ask their opinion or whatever it might be one-on-one. So, then when you bring up your thoughts in the meeting, you'll have an ally. You'll have someone else who's also going to cheerlead you on. It makes you feel less alone, and not only that, you will be slightly prepared about what you want to say. You will feel less on the spot.
It's a great way to sort of do that, and so you know in advance what you're going to do. So, that's the one thing that I would say, following up. One of the things with allies and planning sometimes you didn't share everything that you wanted to say, or you missed something at a meeting or an event, or because you think about things later you think of new ideas or feedback after you've had time to reflect. In those instances, it's really important to remember that it's never too late to have your voice heard. It may feel awkward or weird but just say, “Oh, hey I was thinking about what we talked about at the meeting XYZ, and I just came up with this idea. I would love to talk to you about it, or write an email about it," or whatever it might be.
“After the meeting, I thought of this solution or this option.” Lay out your plan in a one-on-one conversation. That way you make your contribution while managing your introvert side. I think that's very, very important. I think that after meetings are done people feel that they can't go ahead and make a contribution and that is not the case. So, along with handling your energy, these are things that you could do to help move forward in your career without feeling icky and weird about things. Thank you for listening. My name is Janice. If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, helping you with your career and your business alongside your introversion.