Did you know introverts struggle to find jobs more than extroverts? If you are an extrovert, it might never occur to you. The graphic at the right is really not the best choice for this topic but in some ways it is.
By now you may know that the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is not really timid versus bold but rather where you get your energy.
Introverts struggle with networking-based job search
The Quiet Revolution has a test you can take to see where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Here’s the answer when I took the test:
Based on your responses, you are an introvert.
Given the choice, you’ll devote your social energy to a small group of people you care about most, preferring a glass of wine with a close friend to a party full of strangers. You think before you speak, have a more deliberate approach to risk, and enjoy solitude. You feel energized when focusing deeply on a subject or activity that really interests you. When you’re in overly stimulating environments (too loud, too crowded, etc.) you tend to feel overwhelmed. You seek out environments of peace, sanctuary, and beauty; you have an active inner life and are at your best when you tap into its riches.
Different introverts struggle with different events
Let me explain the difference for me. I work with new people everyday in one-on-one situations. People hire me to write their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and cover letters and work collaboratively, one-on-one, to get the projects done. There is an element of coaching, motivating, and listening involved with every client I work with to get them to their goals. I am comfortable meeting and speaking to these clients who start out as strangers.
Now let me explain how I struggle as an introvert. This morning I had told my husband (who is an extrovert) that I wanted to go to the Farmer’s Market. I like fresh produce and I am a gardener myself. I lean toward natural products in every part of my life. We waited until I completed my 9am prospect call and then got in the car and drove down to the market. It was so busy. Fortunately, my husband knows me well and instead of looking for a parking space, we drove back home. If we had gone early in the morning, I probably could have shopped but not at 10am.
I’ll let him go alone another day. He does most of our shopping anyway. I could feel myself getting tense before we even left the house. My arms actually start hurting when I have to go out of my comfort zone. It’s not really a matter of being Timid or Bold, it’s more that feeling of being overwhelmed.
Job search pushes introverts out of their comfort zone
As an introvert, if you have to go out of your comfort zone to network, it is scary. You do fine in a work environment because you are a master at your craft and do your job very well. But looking for a job often means connecting with people who have the power to hire you. You don’t know how to take the first step. I have helped many people move forward mainly because I understand how they feel. I don’t discount their fears but I work with them to do little steps to connect with the right people. Often it just helps to know you are not alone.