You know what they say. Networking is a big part of being successful in your career field, especially if you want to climb the ladder. But what if you’re an introvert? Well, it will be a bit harder, but there are still ways to be social at work.
It’s okay if you’re introverted. That’s not the end of the world and doesn’t mean you can’t actually make everyone else feel comfortable around you and get to know you. In fact, you can even make the most of the advantages of being an introvert, such as your good thinking and analyzing skills, your imagination, ability to listen, and more.
Let’s see how every introvert out there can socialize more at work without allowing the environment there to be a barrier:
1. Always be prepared in order to feel at ease all the time.
To overcome social anxiety, simply prepare at least a bit for anything. Be it a meeting, a call with a client, the lunch break with co-workers, going to work, leaving the office, team building activities, etc.
Whatever it is, you won’t need to be nervous if you have a few topics in your mind to talk about.
2. Find your people.
To get started with socializing, you should first look for people with common interests. As you’re a good observer, notice who these individuals are and approach them.
That won’t be scary as you understand them better than others and can simply tell them what you yourself like to hear from new people in your life.
Initiate small talk with them first. Know that every time you do it, you’re practicing your networking skills. It will feel easier every next time.
3. Be social in small steps.
It’s important to keep challenging yourself. Otherwise, you can be by yourself all the time and never make connections with co-workers. But start small as it can get overwhelming if you try to socialize too much.
You can, let’s say, talk to one new person every day. Even things like saying ‘Hi!’, commenting on the weather, asking about the time of the next meeting or company event, or else, count.
Start small conversations with people in both private and work environment. and notice the discomfort that occurs every time you’re about to open your mouth. Know you can get over it with enough practice.
4. Use your strengths.
The humble nature of introverts doesn’t allow them to show off even if they’re especially good at something. But if you want to make it in the career world, you need to start doing that.
For example, you might be the only one noticing an existing issue during a project or something that was missed in a meeting. Don’t be afraid to mention it to the project manager or someone from the team. You’re a good observer, researcher, and thinker. Others aren’t. Save everyone the trouble of not seeing something important that might cost the company a lot in the future.
5. Still get your ‘me time’ dose daily.
We all know you need it. So let it happen in the morning by waking up a bit earlier and having a pleasant morning routine. Do relaxing activities, things you enjoy, or just drink your coffee in silence and prepare for the day mentally. You’ll be recharged and ready to be social.
You can do the same in the evening. Create a ritual by spending some time alone and allowing your mind to let go of anything that happened at work. Take a bath, read a book, meditate, de-clutter at home, journal your thoughts.
If you keep spending time alone on a daily basis, you will never get overwhelmed by being around people at work.
6. Be positive.
Don’t forget to smile when you’re around others. It’s often easy to get lost in thoughts and others can feel that. But a positive vibe won’t hurt anybody.