After a tough job search and going through countless rounds of interviews, you have finally landed your first job. As an introvert, meeting many new people at once and having to interact with them may be quite intimidating. Long meetings, small talks and the exchange of pleasantries in the office may often drain your mental energy.
Such negativity can easily drown out the joy and excitement you should be feeling. In this article, we highlight a few strategies on how to survive your first job as an introvert.
Introduce yourself well in the beginning
On your first day at work, it may seem daunting to introduce yourself to a bunch of people who are already friends with one another. It is also normal for introverts to feel nervous when giving a self-introduction. You might then avoid eye contact with the other party, which may come off as arrogant or you might simply be making the other person uncomfortable.
A tip to overcome this is to hold eye contact for just three seconds. Just count “one, two, three”, and then look somewhere else. This step can be repeated a few times until maintaining eye contact feels more natural.
Introducing yourself well in the beginning will make your work life more smooth sailing, and it would be easier for you to reach out to your colleagues for any help in future.
Go on social outings with your colleagues
While an extrovert may be thrilled about the thought of happy hour and team dinners, introverted people like yourself may not be comfortable hanging out with a bunch of people you’ve yet to warm up to. Yet, it is important to establish connections in the workplace so that you have teammates who are willing to listen and support you during group meetings.
If you find yourself socially awkward and find small talk dreadful, Marta Brzosko, author of How to have More Meaningful Conversations, introduces a few tips to create meaningful conversations – and practical ways to cultivate them – that would make socialising in the workforce easier for introverts like us.
In short, this would mean being aware of the purpose of the conversation you are having. But what happens if you are not aware of any intention? Given that you aren’t that close to your colleagues yet, it is likely that you can’t think of any intention. Brzosko suggests that you could be open-minded and let the conversation flow naturally, or consciously create any intention you want.
During meetings, rather than listening to what other people are sharing, we tend to be more concerned about how we should reply. In order to be mindful in a conversation, you need to be a mindful listener.
This means actually paying attention to what the other party is saying, which can sound quite nerve-racking.
Having a good rapport with your teammates will allow you to survive your first job as an introvert and make your first job an enjoyable one. Remember, all friendships start somewhere!
Leverage on your strengths as an Introvert
Our society has evolved in a way that benefits people who exhibit extroverted qualities. Somehow or other, there is constant pressure on introverts to work on our social skills. This could include taking more initiative, asking questions, networking and socialising, and many more. In a conference setting, you might lose out to your outspoken colleagues who can easily share their ideas across the table.
As such, most introverts tend to be more comfortable communicating via writing than give an oral presentation. In an environment where everyone has so much to say, you can leverage your strengths as an introvert by listening attentively and quietly taking notes. With all the information you’ve taken in during the meeting, you can always consolidate your ideas first before coming up with a well-thought solution after.
But inevitably, there is the occasional need to present your ideas to your teammates and superiors. To increase your level of confidence, it is essential that you rehearse beforehand. This would reduce your nerves and allow you to polish your skills before the actual presentation.
Surviving your first job as an introvert isn’t as intimidating as it seems. The sheer amount of time spent thinking about things and understanding yourself would only serve to make you more aware of your strengths and weaknesses while making yourself more insightful in discussions. So go out there, and show the world your power!
Here at CareerSocius, we hope to empower individuals to find a job they love. We would love to be part of your journey.
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