Nobody particularly likes job-hunting. Even for the most out-going professional, it can be a drag. For the introverted candidate, however, searching to find a new job can be nothing short of painful. You’ve got to meet a series of different people in a short space of time, you’ve got to blow your own trumpet, you’ve got to make polite small talk, you’ve got to pitch, you’ve got to put yourself out there again and again…it’s an introvert’s worst nightmare.
But with introverts accounting for one-third to half of the UK population and working across all sectors and levels, there are clearly career hacks that make the job hunting process less torturous. If you’re an introvert looking to find a new job, here are 6 steps you can take to make your search quicker, easier and less uncomfortable.
1. Accept the fact that networking is the most necessary and most evil of necessary evils
There’s just no way around it: you’ve got to bite the bullet and network if you want to open the door to opportunities. As soon as you accept this awful truth, you can build up your defences and brace yourself for the networking joys that lie ahead.
Practice things like body language, handshakes and elevator pitches. Arm yourself with a few ice-breaker jokes or questions that you can fall back on in tricky situations. Even think of a few interesting things you can say about your professional life to keep conversations flowing. You might feel like a fool when you’re practicing this at home, but it will result in significantly less awkwardness when it comes down to the real thing.
2. Build a 3D digital presence
For introverts, the beauty of a great digital presence is that it will do all the talking for you. Many candidates mistakenly believe that your online presence only really matters if you’re looking for digital marketing jobs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. No matter what industry you’re in, you should be taking advantage of online platforms to showcase your skills and experience.
Flesh our your online persona with professional social media accounts that share your take on business news and demonstrate your passion for the industry. Turn your LinkedIn profile into a flexible portfolio full of documents and real-life examples. You might even want to build your own website or blog. This will give you great leverage when you’re trying to find a new job, as well as allowing you to do the lion’s share of communication digitally rather than face to face.
3. Practice answering your interview questions
Out loud. In front of a mirror. Often. Interview questions are always daunting, but can be especially so for introverts who don’t particularly thrive on talking about themselves. Yet again, this is all about biting the bullet and bracing yourself for the challenges ahead. By practicing and preparing, you won’t find yourself at an excruciating loss for words in a pressurised interview situation.
The five most common interview questions are:
- “What is your greatest weakness?”
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “Do you have any questions?”
- “Why should we hire you?”
- “What do you know about us?”
Hit the links to find out how to individually address each question and avoid any interview sticky moments.
4. Give yourself time to recharge
When you’re on a mission to find a new job, you can soon find your diary clogged with various appointments and meetings. Even for people who aren’t introverted, the hunt can quickly become draining. The solution is simple: don’t wear yourself out. Give yourself breaks and don’t stack your day with appointments. Use time in the car or on the bus for some quiet reflection and a relaxing breather. By continuously recharging your batteries, you’ll avoid the bulk of the stress that comes with searching for jobs.
5. Learn to be comfortable with self-promotion
Most of us, and especially introverts, feel self-conscious when forced to promote ourselves. Unfortunately, talking about yourself in a positive light is part and parcel of the job-hunting process. If you feel like you’re blushing violently/fighting the urge to vomit when reeling off your list of employable characteristics, remember this: you’re merely highlighting your skills in a relevant context, not just peacocking about how fabulous you are. Accept that huge difference and you’ll soon feel more comfortable with self-promotion.
6. Get the Goldilocks mentality
This final step is crucial: you need to accept the job offer that’s just right for you. As an introvert, it’s understandable that you might not want to sit through interview after interview. A dislike for interviews, however, doesn’t mean that you should just accept the first offer that falls at your feet. In a similar vein, don’t accept a job that’s beneath your skills just because you’d be working in a quiet, peaceful office. Remember, 0nly you know what’s right for you.
So, if you’re an introvert who wants to find a new job, try following these 6 steps and see what kind of results you’ll win. Good luck!