Top 5 Mistakes Introverts Make When Growing their Career

Introverts are some of the most hard working and caring people in an organization. I’ve coached a lot of introverts and they often don’t take credit for their work. In this article you’ll learn the top 5 mistakes introverts make when growing their career and how to navigate around them, so you can do more of the work that you love.

I struggled with taking on the high profile projects at work because I didn’t want to put myself in an uncomfortable situation. I also struggled with speaking up in meetings in my twenties and into my thirties. I thought I would never get over my anxiety of being put on the spot, but then I began to dig deep and peel away my inner armor. I focused on asking myself some tough questions. I kept a gratitude journal. I joined Toastmasters to help me with my public speaking. I pivoted my career toward research design and I began to grow my career.

When I began to peel away my armor I got more honest with myself and started appreciating who I was and not who I thought I should be. Before I go into the mistake I want to make sure you know the difference between introverts and extroverts. At a high level view introverts gain energy from working alone and extroverts gain energy from being around others.

When you look at your personality you’ll start to see patterns that can help you grow your career. Introverts can use their introversion to their advantage, but you have to be willing to dig into what isn’t working and figure out how to fix it.

1. Introverts say Yes too often.

We like to say yes because it shows that we are a team player, but this can often hurt our career. If you say yes too often then you are often distracting yourself from your essential work. You should be doing work that you love for at least 20% of your day. My goal for you is to eventually get it to 80%. This takes time and it means you need to say no to opportunities that don’t align with your values, passions and strengths.

I know it can be hard to say “no” to someone in your organization or someone that you admire, but once you practice digging deep you begin to focus on what is best for you and the other person instead of focusing just on the other person. Learn how to say “no” and stay focused on your essential tasks and projects in The Introverts 5 Day Save Your Career Challenge starting on Feb. 21st.

2. Introverts don’t process their day.

Introverts often go from task to task trying to check off their “to do” list. This can hurt you because you don’t take time to slow down and calibrate yourself with your actions. 

At the end of each day you should set at least 15 minutes to do the Rate Your Day Routine and get your mindset in the right place by making your “to do” for tomorrow. Get instant access to the Rate Your Day one sheet right here.

3. Introverts avoid high profile projects.

The high profile projects are the projects that cause an introvert to cringe. They like to stay under the radar. The problem is if an introvert doesn’t find a way to embrace high profile projects they won’t make the career leaps that they want.

As an introvert you have to lean into these projects, so you can challenge yourself to grow personally and professionally.

4. Introverts don’t reach out to people they can help.

As an introvert it can be hard to reach out and offer help to others. Many introverts like to do their work and do it well. They don’t think about how they can use their strengths to help others. This is a big part when growing your career.

I struggled growing my training business because I was afraid of rejection. It was easier to take my time growing my business instead of putting myself out there. When I realized that I wanted to help more people and really grow my business, I started reaching out and offering people help from my strengths. It opened up opportunities to do workshops, speaking engagements and partnerships that never would have happened if I didn’t reach out first.

5. Introverts don’t make enough time to appreciate their hard work.

The most important habit that an introvert can do is find ways to appreciate their hard work so they build a more supportive inner voice. This habit will encourage you to focus on what you did well and how you can do more of it.

It’s why I often tell my clients to write down three things they did well, every single day, because it helps strengthen their brain synapses. You want to practice being grateful, so when you feel down you have an easier time staying centered. You can learn more about leading as an introvert to help you make a bigger impact in your career.

What would you add to this list? Let me know on LinkedIn or Twitter. Would love to hear what you think?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash