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If you identify as an introvert, you’re someone who is your most collected self in calm environments. You’re not necessarily antisocial but you definitely need to recharge after social gatherings by spending some quality time alone. 

It’s likely that you’ve always been able to hide your introversion in school, but now you find yourself in an especially social work environment and you’re feeling overwhelmed. Do people find me rude because I don’t chit chat in the break room? Will I fall behind professionally if I don’t attend happy hour with my coworkers? These are legitimate concerns but there’s no need to stress. You can be an introvert and still thrive in your career! Keep reading to learn how.

Play to Your Strengths

As mentioned earlier, introversion relates specifically to where you derive your energy from. Being an extrovert doesn’t automatically grant you communication skills, and being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at a disadvantage in the workplace. So identify and play to your strengths! 

Introverts are generally attentive and introspective. Employ these traits in meetings and one-on-one conversations. When your coworkers are sharing their ideas and concerns related to an upcoming project, use your listening skills to make them feel heard and propose thoughtful feedback. Your ability to make people feel heard can also lead to genuine friendships with your coworkers.

If you are more skilled with the technical aspects of your job over the communication elements, share your knowledge and expertise with your coworkers. As long as you offer the supplementary information in a humble and non-aggressive manner, your coworkers will almost certainly appreciate the assistance, especially if it is with a concept or skill they’ve been struggling to grasp.

Communicate and Adjust 

It’s true that the media often portrays introverts as extremely shy, awkward and possessing minimal interpersonal skills. But as with all other stereotypes, these claims don’t provide an in-depth and accurate representation. Don’t let these stereotypes deter you from articulating your personality type to your coworkers. This doesn’t necessarily have to take form in a detailed email describing your introversion sent to the entire company. Small acts work too. 

For example, if you find it difficult to engage in a large brainstorming session, make thorough notes during the meeting and present them to your supervisor afterwards, notifying them that you wanted to collect your thoughts on your own before making your pitch. 

Or if you’re working on a group project, let your coworkers know that you’re more comfortable discussing action items over email than in person and meet them halfway. One meeting and one chain email is better than two meetings right?

Make an Effort and Know Your Limits 

You may not want to hear this last point, but part of thriving as an introvert in the workplace is learning to tap into your inner extrovert a bit. Personality types are not disconnected categories but rather exist on a spectrum, which means that although keeping to yourself may come more naturally, pushing yourself to partake in social environments is doable. Consider it a challenge that will shape you into a well-rounded employee and person. 

Being comfortable in a large group during a meeting and at after work happy hour are important just as is being a good listener and thriving in one-on-one interactions so don’t be so quick to ignore the opportunity for growth. 

Pushing yourself should not come at the expense of your productivity or mental health, however, so don’t feel the need to attend every optional networking event. Set goals for yourself and check them off one by one. It can start off gradually, like eating your lunch twice a week in the break room with other coworkers and making a point to attend the company’s Christmas party.


Being introverted does not mean being unable to have a career. If you can find that balance between pushing yourself and taking care of yourself, you can thrive and succeed professionally. Play to your strengths and learn to communicate effectively. 

And don’t forget to take time at the end of the day to sit with yourself and recharge. 

Photo by Irvan Smith on Unsplash

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