14 July 2017 | Career Advice | Guest Author
University isn't always the most comfortable environment for an introvert, but it's not all bad - you're beholden mostly to yourself, you have plenty of time to work out how to get comfortable, and there are plenty of opportunities for relationships to flourish naturally.
But when it comes time to remove your academic cap and turn up for your first day at your first serious job, things become, well – more serious. You'll know from internships and part-time work that there are few days more unnerving than the first in a new work environment, but you may not yet have figured out how best to survive this social grilling!
Well, if you've made it this far then you probably have all the tools you need in your kit. Getting through that first day is a mixture of making things comfortable for yourself while demonstrating to your new boss and colleagues that you're eager to work and to learn but have your own way of doing so.
There is no better way of illustrating this than by doing your homework in advance. Check out the status of your company and your industry. Double-check exactly what will be required of you. As an introvert you probably find it difficult to speak up in group scenarios or to share your ideas before they're fully formed; researching the context like this gives you a few moments head-start on your more extroverted new colleagues while you find your voice.
The introverted way of thinking and doing is just as valuable to a team as any other, so don't be afraid to be open about your approach. Let your new colleagues know that you prefer to meet one-on-one when possible, and that if you don't have an answer for something straight away – you'll have one twice as good in a little while. If you try to hide the fact you're an introvert, you'll just end up causing misunderstandings.
For some more ideas on how to get started in your new role, check out this new infographic - and work at being the best at who you are, instead of playing at being some imaginary ideal.