How to get ahead at work if you are an introvert…

Lindsay Hood, how to get ahead as an introvert

Lindsey Hood, 41, is a gentle but powerful qualified life and executive coach who specialises in working with women across the globe including; the USA, Canada, Africa and the UK….  who secretly struggle with imposter syndrome. 

She describes herself as an introvert first and foremost, however, this does not define her lifestyle and she is on a mission to show others that their personality trait needn’t hinder their way of life.  She has recently become a global bestselling author on Amazon book charts after the release of her debut book ‘Live a Big Life in a Quiet Way: Strategies for introverted women to overcome imposter syndrome’. 

Lindsey shares with We are the City – How to get ahead at work if you are an introvert…

Have you resigned yourself to not going for a certain role or promotion because of your introverted nature? Do you cringe at the thought of self-promotion? Are there certain things within your current role that fill you with dread as doing them feels so at odds with who you naturally are?

Lindsey said; “Unfortunately all the above are real examples of things that often do need to be conquered to succeed and excel in your role and/or to get the job of your dreams. I believe the only thing we can ever really control is ourselves so maybe to get ahead at work you need to start by changing your own mindset and thinking!”

Identify your strengths and build on these

You often focus on perceived weaknesses as developmental areas, but focusing on what you are naturally good at, and enjoy doing, will identify areas that are going to take less effort to improve and for you to move the needle from good to great to exceptional. Focusing on the things that you want to be known for is a great way to build your personal brand and become the ‘go to’ person in a particular area.

Understand your feelings about confidence

How would you define confidence? Do you have any fear attached to being confident? The opposite of confidence is timidity, pessimism, being afraid, shyness, being uncertain or unsure. Is that really how you want to be viewed by others? Reframing how you see confidence and understanding there is nothing wrong with being positive, courageous, certain, self-reliant and self-assured can help you break the self-talk that stops you feeling confident and fully showing up.

It is okay to hold your head high and know what you can achieve. It is okay to share this with your manager or an interviewer. Knowing your worth and being able to state a result you have achieved can be objectively done – you took an action, you achieved a result. This isn’t arrogance, or being bolshy or any other feeling you may have around ‘self promotion’ – it is simply a fact and you can be deservedly proud of it, if you want to be.

And remember, you can be confident and still be a nice person. You can be confident and still be empathetic, fun, goofy, serious, caring, introverted, <insert your most treasured characteristic here>. Being confident is not mutually exclusive to all other traits; it is totally compatible!

Deepen your own self-awareness

In any role there are likely to be things that you don’t feel as comfortable doing. For you, it may be giving a presentation, or having a challenging conversation with a member of your team, or having to chair a meeting. The easiest thing would be to avoid these things but confidence grows through taking action.

Identify the things that you don’t like about your current role, or a role you are looking to progress to, and spend some time thinking why that is. Then create a plan to move you from where you are now to feeling 10% more confident in doing that thing – maybe you need some training to improve a skill gap, maybe you need a coach or mentor to support you, maybe you need to ensure you clear your diary the day you are doing a particular task or activity because you know you can do it but it will drain your energy.

Understanding yourself better means you can find the strategies that work for you to take the small actions that move you from where you are now to where you want to be. I believe you have the potential to do or be anything you want to, but you need to do the work to make the required changes. Instead of focusing on a ‘wholesale change’ though, identify and act on the incremental changes needed and then take the action against the ‘next step’. This means you are building your confidence and moving towards feeling more comfortable and confident in doing the things that are currently scaring or worrying you.

This is work you need to keep doing for continuous improvement but it is worth it! One day you’ll look back and be amazed at the cumulative effect of each of the ten per cent improvements you have achieved.

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