Getting bored at work quickly. Having a lengthy CV. Or doing the umpteenth study that hopefully will finally lead to work that you enjoy. These are things that gifted introverts often have to deal with. But how do you make sure that you keep on being challenged? And how to ensure that you work in an environment where you can be yourself? A few tips to shape your career as a gifted introvert.
It may sound logical, but it all starts with really knowing yourself. As a gifted introvert you can do a lot, so you can still excel in a role that you might not like as much. However, that role will not make you happy in the long run. Again you will feel the restlessness and the longing for 'something else'.
To gain more self-knowledge, you will have to take the initiative yourself. Career coaching is not often offered by employers, simply because they do not have that much interest in it. However, your interest is all the greater, because it is very important for you as a gifted introvert to know what you want and what really suits you. Therefore, check out the options for doing a personality and / or competence test. Quiet Quality offers several of those tests. With the knowledge you gain as a result, you can shape your career a lot better.
Know your environment
Especially when you work with others, it is important that you are aware of your environment. How do your colleagues differ from you in terms of communication and working methods? And how do you ensure that they are also aware of what makes you different as a gifted introvert?
A lack of awareness that others may be different from us can negatively impact people's cooperation. Only when you create that awareness and ensure that everyone's strength is seen will that collaboration really become constructive. To achieve this, you can do a personality test with the entire team or organize a session in which you look for both the differences and the similarities together. Teams that make smart use of those differences are usually a lot better at creating new things.
Don't be too hard on yourself
Gifted introverts are often true perfectionists. Their work has an important place in their life, which can be at the expense of their private life. Certainly if it is work that requires more energy than it gives, this will eventually result in the gifted introvert burning out, with all its consequences. It is very important as a gifted introvert to learn to guard your boundaries.
Autonomy is also a great asset for the gifted introvert. They don't like to be watched too much and want freedom in their work. If they don't get that space, it will lead to frustration and sometimes even adversity. So make sure you have enough space in your work to do things independently and to be creative. If you don't have that space, see how you can get it, because it is a necessity for you. It is not without reason that many gifted introverts choose entrepreneurship.
This creativity however sometimes makes it very difficult for the gifted introvert. Because they quickly see the big picture and can translate that into the future, gifted introverts often have groundbreaking innovative ideas. However, when they share those ideas, they are often not understood. "Don't be silly" or "We'll see about that later" are things they hear in return, causing frustration. What helps is to share the thinking steps that make so much sense to you with your environment. That way your idea becomes clearer and others will understand it better. And don't be discouraged by incomprehension. Stick to your idea if you really believe in it, because you will eventually find a way for it.
Balance your energy
Busy open offices, endless networking and unlimited perfectionism all have an influence on the energy level of the gifted introvert. If you do not protect your boundaries well enough, you run the risk of using more energy than you get in return. If you do not stop yourself, your body will eventually do that.
In addition, many gifted introverts have become masters in adapting to others. They do not want to be a burden to anyone and often place the interests of others above their own. As a result, they sometimes go beyond their own limits, leading to frustration and a loss of energy.
As a gifted introvert, make sure you schedule me-time during the day. Read a book, do a meditation exercise or go for a walk to do something completely different and have a moment to yourself. This will help you feel comfortable in your own skin in the long run, which will in turn help you to perform a lot better at work.
Want to know more about being a gifted introvert? Download the e-book.