Job Searching for Introverts
Today (January 2nd) is World Introverts Day. While there can be many different varieties of introverts, the general definition is someone who prefers calm, minimally stimulating environments. If that sounds like you, you may find the job search a bit difficult at times. Luckily, there are a few tricks to help you wade through this extroverted task.
Online Profiles/Social Media
Thankfully the job search in 2019 is mainly online. This means you can create an online profiles, apply to jobs online and communicate with recruiters and employers electronically. Use this to your advantage-keep all your online profiles up to date (not just LinkedIn), reply promptly to messages and fill in all applications with as much detail as possible. Remember that everyone, including potential employers, can see your profiles so think before you post!
Meeting strangers and engaging in small talk can be a nightmare for an introvert. If you are looking to break into a career field or are hoping to find out more about certain jobs, try reaching out online first. See if there is a Facebook group that you can join to discuss your career choice or message people you would like to chat with on LinkedIn. Follow companies you would like to work for on social media; their accounts will give you a great look at how they present themselves to the world as well as a peak into their operations.
Job Fairs can also be extremely overwhelming for introverts. Plan ahead and decide who you would like to talk to and think of some ice breakers to use so you don’t stand awkwardly waiting for them to say something. If you feel over stimulated at any point during the fair take a break, have some water, find a hallway or even a bathroom to spend a quiet moment and refocus.
Interviews are important parts of all job applications and aren’t something that can be avoided. Prepare as much as you can, including planning out your trip to the interview location and leave with plenty of time so you don’t arrive late and flustered. If you have a phone interview, have your notes and research open while you talk (note: do not do this during a video interview, it is very obvious that you are searching or reading something when you are on camera!). Have answers ready for common interview questions but don’t memorize them word for word. Forgetting a memorized phrase in an interview can cause fumbling and the appearance of being unprepared. Think about what you would like to say and how best to say it. Remember to think of examples and experiences you’ve had at past jobs as well, so you don’t sit blankly desperately trying to remember something during the interview.
Remember to always send a thank you follow up email after your interview. Highlight things you enjoyed speaking about, perhaps a joke or something to trigger the employer’s memory of you. Keep in mind, they probably didn’t notice the things you cringed about after the interview ended, so don’t bring them up!
Starting Your New Job
Starting a new job can be overwhelming for anyone. Remember that no will expect you to know everything on your first day or even in your first week. Ask questions to show your interest and enthusiasm. If you can, try speaking to your new fellow employees to learn about the company culture and possibly make new friends and contacts but remember these connections take time and effort. If the first few weeks leave you feeling stunned and exhausted, schedule some time for yourself in the evenings or weekends to be alone, knit, read, go for a walk or run, whatever you need to do to recharge.
Being an introvert is not something to ever be ashamed of. Studies show that 30-50% of the U.S. population are introverts, so you are not the only introvert in the room (although you probably are since introverts like to be alone!). If you feel that this is a defining trait for you, consider it when applying for jobs or picking careers. Regardless of how you interact with people, don’t be afraid to try new things and set goals, but always keep your self-care in mind and schedule time to do what makes you feel happy and refreshed.