Last month, I posted a blog about networking for the shy and introverted. It seemed to strike a chord with several readers, and I’ve received many requests for further information and advice on different aspects of the job search for the shy or introverted job seeker.
Luckily for us introverts and shy people, those who aren’t afraid to or find energy in getting themselves in the spotlight tend to create their own clutter and static out of their own messages. That’s when we use our greatest strengths: our patience and brains. Here are some ways you can use your shyness or introversion as an advantage when looking for a job.
Blame Is Not a Game
First things first; don’t blame yourself. If you are introverted, you are normal. There is nothing wrong with you, so don’t use it as a crutch. For many people, it’s easy to say, “I won’t go there today. My energy level is a little low and I just don’t think I can make it the whole time.” It’s time to stop blaming your condition and use it to your advantage.
For those who are shy, it’s much easier to blame any social shortcomings on their shyness. Like any skill, finding jobs and following up after sending a résumé will get better over time. It’ll be difficult, but you won’t succeed at all if you keep telling yourself, “I can’t. I’m too shy.”
Have a Plan, Stan
Introverts generally have acute attention to detail. Those details can help you make a more efficient job search. Go the extra mile and find the hiring manager at a prospective employer and do some research on this person before calling the employer at random. You will become a strong, valid, and desirable candidate when you appear prepared and interested, just by using your strengths.
It’s important for shy job seekers to be prepared. Being ready can give you the boost you need to go out on a limb when finding a job. This means breaking out of your comfort zone and asking others for input. Shy people tend to be more self-critical than others, so having second or third opinions can give you an idea of what really works and a boost of moral support.
Write With Might
A friend once told me, “Writing is something for shy people who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while telling it.” Those who are introverted are often good writers. This is where the power of social media can play to our strengths.
Try starting your own blog about your industry. You can get your thoughts and opinions out if you are a better writer than speaker, and you can use it to connect with other industry-related bloggers who can help you with your career.
You can also engage with specific people who can help you find a job instead of building a large personal brand following. Find someone who works for an employer you are interested in and start a conversation.
Some of the most influential people in history have been introverted and dealt with shyness every day, like Steve Martin, Albert Einstein, Julia Roberts. Even Thomas Jefferson, was said to have only spoken publicly during his presidency at his inauguration and while delivering legislative proposals. Don’t let the grandeur and flare of extroverts get you down. What issues of introversion and shyness have you dealt with and used it as a strength?