Introverts can often face challenges in the workplace. The professional world puts a lot of stock in extroverted qualities in order to get ahead. Recent works, however, have outlined the many valuable assets introverts bring to the table in a professional environment.
As an intern and an introvert, I have been working hard to overcome some challenges I face due to my introverted personality. I have compiled some tips and tricks for introverts to make the most of the little time they have in an internship and to feel more fulfilled in their experience.
1). Don’t compare – I have often watched a classmate or a colleague and wished I were as well-spoken, outgoing or active as they were. When I became an intern, however, I discovered I didn’t have the time to waste wishing I could be more extroverted. Internships only last a short time, so don’t waste this valuable opportunity struggling with feelings of insecurity that come from comparing yourself to others.
2). Don’t be afraid to write before you speak – Introverts tend to be extremely thoughtful. It can be difficult for us to articulate our thoughts out loud, however. I have often avoided making phone calls in the office because I was worried I would become tongue-tied. To solve this, I began writing small scripts before important phone calls that I could peek at if I get nervous or tripped-up.
3). Seek out one-on-one conversation – Introverts may not stand out well in large meetings, but we can make a big impression in more personal settings. Be sure to invite coworkers out for coffee or drinks after work in order to get some one-on-one time with them to make a lasting impression and to build your network.
4). Know Your Strengths – Introverts have a lot to offer in the workplace. We are incredible listeners, we offer well-thought-out and meaningful ideas, and we also tend to make lasting and more meaningful professional relationships.