Extroversion often appears to be the norm, leading introverts to feel pressured to adapt to an environment that may not suit them. 

A chef from Fridge Wars says,

No worries! I'll share some practical advice on how to succeed at work as an introvert. If I can do it, you can too. 

You're Not a Stereotype

"You're not an introvert, you're just shy."

I've heard this sentence so many times in my professional career. People often assume introverts are shy or not social, but this is not necessarily true. The barrier between introversion and shyness is so thin that it's important for me to give you a definition: 

Being introverted is simply about getting energy from being alone. Introverts still have thoughts and feelings, and they still need social interaction. However, the way they express those emotions is typically different. And the types of social settings they enjoy are different from extroverts as well.

— Anna Webber, contributor at HR consultancy firm Team Bonding

If you fit this definition, then you're an introvert. Welcome to the team — you'll see it's beautiful to be an introvert!

Introverts excel in roles requiring focus, critical thinking, and independence. They are often good listeners and can create strong, lasting relationships. Introverts draw their energy from their inner world and extroverts from the outside world.

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Many successful companies value diversity, including personality types. A study by Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, found that introverts can be as effective as extroverts in leadership roles.

Introvert Success Strategy #1: Practice Public Speaking

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I did theatre when I was younger, and it helped me get out of my comfort zone and have a bit more confidence in public speaking. Thank you to my Mum and Dad!

I've been able to practice my public speaking skills during my various professional experiences. I remember once leading a learning project in front of 50 people. I was very stressed about getting out of my comfort zone, but it was an enriching experience. I was very proud of myself.

As Susan Cain says in her book, it's important to know how to get out of your comfort zone when necessary because introverts also have ideas and things to say, and know how to get messages across when necessary — then go back to your own space with a cup of tea. ☕️

Introvert Success Strategy #2: Leverage Your Strengths

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Identify tasks that align with your strengths. By excelling in these areas, you can build credibility and respect among your colleagues.

To succeed in the workplace, I had to find ways to leverage my introverted strengths. In my case, I search for reasons and causes. I have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation. I became known for my attention to detail and my analytical skills.

I find it challenging to network with colleagues. To succeed, I focused on building meaningful relationships with a few key colleagues. This allowed me to connect authentically without feeling drained.

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Introvert Success Strategy #3: Find Your Communication Style

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It often happened that I was stressed when I started a job because I didn't know the company culture and its predominant communication. 

I've had the opportunity to work in both small and large companies. The culture and communication style within an organization are deeply interconnected, as each influences and reinforces the other. A culture that promotes openness and transparency encourages free and honest communication, fostering trust and collaboration among employees.

Whether it's email, chat, or face-to-face, find the communication method that suits you best. Talk to your manager and colleagues about your communication preferences. This helps reduce stress and allows you to communicate effectively.

There may be times where an introvert has to compromise a bit to fit the company culture. Building communication skills outside of your comfort zone can be challenging for you as an introvert, but with intentional practice and a strategic approach, you can do it effectively.

For example, you could join clubs or groups in your company centered around your interests. It will allow you to share interests and can provide natural conversation starters.


Tom is in a team meeting where brainstorming is required. How could he actively contribute his ideas while still feeling comfortable?

Introvert Success Strategy #4: Set Boundaries

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I was one of those people who couldn't put boundaries on anything. I said yes to every professional event for fear of being seen as antisocial.

The consequences: my energy was low, and I wasn't productive.

A person says to another,

Understand the importance of setting boundaries to maintain your energy and focus. Learn to politely decline invitations to social events or meetings that drain your energy and prioritize tasks that align with your strengths and goals. Introverts need time to recharge. Schedule breaks or "quiet time" during the day to avoid burnout.

Take Action

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