The job search process seems to stacked in the favor of the extraverted, natural hand-shaker– the “Hi, how are you!” kind of person. Their natural friendliness, comfort with social interactions, and ease of making connections seem to virtually guarantee them the best jobs. There’s no doubt that extraverted traits can be invaluable.
There’s this common advice on the job search that I’ve received: “You have to sell yourself. it’s half about personal brand and half about skills. You have to have a following because companies want to know whether people look upon you. Yeah, Right, I thought to myself sarcastically. All I want to do get a fan following. I really don’t care about the self-promotion. It feels arrogant and beating your own drum. Who really wants to hear about me anyway? It seems like everyone keeps shouting about themselves to other people who are too busy shouting about themselves to even listen. Is there anyone left to listen anyway?
It might seem like being an introvert is something that might hurt one’s career—its a myth. The secret which I figured after years, there is no such thing as an introvert (or an extrovert). Humans are always in the process of becoming; our thingness is an illusion. This personality type isn’t a disorder and there’s nothing to fix here. The key is understanding what special gifts and abilities you–as an introvert–bring to the table. Instead of focusing on all the ways you’re failing to be an extrovert, try to focus on how to succeed and thrive given your unique temperament.
If you think you’re shy and networking just isn’t your thing, here are 3 ways to succeed in your job search –
Be honest and don’t fall for the team player trap
For much of my career, I believed that I had to transform myself into more of an extrovert. I pushed aside my discomfort in networking events and other social situations. In fact, there are people who have known me professionally for many years who refuse to believe that I am an introvert at heart. Honestly, even if you can do it, this split personality is not sustainable. I discovered with my own career, introverted personality traits can be much more powerful assets. Most introverts are great team players, they just prefer working alone, accept that. Now I’m no longer afraid to communicate that I like working independently in my own environment for maximum productivity and at the same time I’m a team player. What most employers are really looking for is a nice authentic, reliable person. How much you talk was never a question.
Do your homework
It is always better to focus on a handful of good companies than applying to hundreds of jobs. It’s very important to do the research and have a list of target companies and individuals within those companies. One way is to spam them with CV but there’s another way – asking for a 15-minute chat with an introductory email. What you are trying to do is get a brief face-to-face meeting with someone at your target company. It isn’t a job interview but it is a good step towards one. Every company is hiring today, remember – the best jobs are the ones that aren’t advertised and the best way to get them is by being genuinely interested to work with them.
Consider working with a mentor
There’s no doubt that a great mentor can be invaluable to your career — after all, mentors are able to provide you with insightful feedback, introduce you to important connections and maybe even help you land a job. When I started building StackRaft to debunk the whole job search process, the ability to find the mentor was a very important aspect. If finding a mentor was easy then landing a job should be easier, at Stackraft we map you with a mentor whenever a company likes your profile and sends you an interview request. Your mentor or coach is a person who has adequate knowledge in your path of career and helps you navigate the interview process.
Introverts get their energy from their inner world of ideas, images, and thoughts, and from creating deep connections with people and places. They create strong connections built on foundations of trust that inspire and motivate people to act which is much required in today’s world. Nobody needs giant personalities to transform companies, they need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run. Be that person, become what you think can you can become!